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I have become smarter, wiser: McIlroy

‘Blames’ Kaymer for his lack of success so far

Image Credit: Reuters
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland speaks during a presentation unveiling him as Nike's new ambassador in Abu Dhabi.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Rory McIlroy feels he is a smarter, wiser and better player than he was a year ago as he starts 2013 as the world’s number one ranked golfer with two Majors under his belt.

Looking back at 2012, McIlroy said, “I’d like to think that I’m a better player, I’m a smarter player. You know, 12 months on, you gain experience from the different things on and off the golf course.”

“I try to learn every time I do something; if it’s good or bad, try to learn from my mistakes and move on. You know, I think it would be disappointing if I didn’t think I was a wiser person sitting here now than I was 12 months ago,” he said, admitting that his tremendous success came earlier than expected.

“If I had sat and talked to you guys in September 2007 when I just turned pro at The Belfry, you know, I wouldn’t have thought that I would be sitting here as a two-time Major Champion, No. 1 in the world and doing everything that I’ve done in the game already. It’s been quite a lot faster than I thought it was going to happen,” said the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland.

“But you know, it just shows what you can do when you practise hard and you work hard and hopefully it’s an inspiration to a lot of young kids out there that they can go and do the same thing.”

Commenting on his chances in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship starting tomorrow, McIlroy blamed Martin Kaymer for his lack of success here.

“It’s a place I have done well. I think one problem for me the last few years has been Martin Kaymer. He’s played really well around here and won it a couple of times, three times I think and I always came up second best,” said the Irishman.

“It would be nice to go one better this week and obviously that’s what I’m aiming for, but it’s a great field and looks like the golf course is in great shape, as well, so you know, I’ve got good memories of this course and I’ve played well around here in the past, so hopefully I can do that again this week,” McIlroy said.