• "We've been ready to win from the start," said the world No.1
• Playing the Wells Fargo - scene of his maiden PGA Tour win
World No.1 Rory McIlroy hopes to be battling it out with the next generation of golf stars for the next 15-20 years and says the emergence of the likes of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed is ‘amazing’ for the game.
The 26-year-old is competing at the Wells Fargo Championship this week, the scene of his first ever PGA Tour win back in 2010, and will be searching for another strong showing in the third event of his five-week stretch, which ends at the Irish Open in two weeks’ time.
And McIlroy, who lost in a play-off to Rickie Fowler for his maiden PGA Tour win at Quail Hollow back in 2012, is relishing the prospect of battling it out with American trio Spieth, Reed and Fowler in the years ahead.
"We've come on tour and we've been ready to win from the start" - Rory McIlroy
“I think the amazing thing about this group of players is that we've come on tour and we've been ready to win from the start,” said Rory McIlroy. “Jordan wins his first major at 21, Rickie got his first win here as I did, but he really elevated the status with that win last week. Patrick Reed as well.
“We don't play maybe with as much fear as some of the rookies used to in the past. I think it's a great thing, but I don't know if we'll do anything that golf hasn't seen before.
“We had the big three in Arnie, Jack and Gary Player. Even years ago we had Phil, Tiger, Vijay, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els, so that was a pretty good group as well. The potential is there. We could be fighting it out for tournaments for the next 15-20 years, so it should be fun.”
Rory McIlroy followed up his win at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play with an eighth-placed finish at the Players Championship last week, and the Northern Irishman is hopeful that he’s got over some issues he was having with his putting, which he claimed was the reason he never got really into contention at TPC Sawgrass.
“I'm happy with where my game is,” said the four-time major winner. “Tee to green, it’s been really good. Even before last week, I think last week I hit over 80% of the fairways.
“Didn't get the putts to drop but from what I witnessed out there today , I’m feeling a little more comfortable on the greens and hopefully that can show over the next few days.”
Rory McIlroy tees off for his first round with Reed and Ben Martin at 1.20pm local time (6.20pm UK time).
Rory McIlroy :: Second win in three weeks?
Can the world No.1 follow up his Match Play with another at Quail Hollow? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.