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I will be defined by Major wins, insists Rory McIlroy

By Phil Casey

Published 21/05/2015

Men united: Rory McIlroy poses with Niall Horan of One Direction and former Manchester United stars Paul Scholes (left) and Phil Neville (right)
Men united: Rory McIlroy poses with Niall Horan of One Direction and former Manchester United stars Paul Scholes (left) and Phil Neville (right)

World number one Rory McIlroy admitted success is now measured in terms of Major titles as he looks to defend the BMW PGA Championship crown which kick-started his brilliant run of form.

McIlroy was ranked 10th before his stunning victory at Wentworth 12 months ago, which came just days after he called off his wedding to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

The 26-year-old had also missed the cut in his two previous appearances in the European Tour's flagship event, but overturned a seven-shot deficit in the final round with a closing 66.

McIlroy went on to win his third and fourth Majors in the Open Championship and US PGA, with a first WGC title in between, and has carried on where he left off in 2015 with three victories so far.

"I've got off to a good start, three wins already this season," said the Holywood ace.

"(But) I would be disappointed if I wasn't to win one of the next three Majors.

"I think that's really what determines a good or a great season for me these days."

McIlroy will play one more event, next week's Irish Open at Royal County Down where his foundation is acting as tournament host, before the US Open at Chambers Bay in June, but insists he is concentrating on the task at hand.

"My mind is focused on the next two weeks here and at the Irish Open," he added. "I just want to try and finish off this stretch of golf as well as I can, and I get a couple weeks off after that.

"Then I'll start to think about the US Open and get ready for that.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 3rd hole during day 1 of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 21, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 3rd hole during day 1 of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 21, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Andy Sullivan of England pulls a club on the 4th hole during day 1 of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 21, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks down the 3rd hole with Martin Kaymer of Germany during day 1 of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 21, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Paul Lawrie of Scotland waits on the 4th hole during day 1 of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 21, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Former Manchester United footballers Paul Scholes (L) and Phil Neville (R) talk to Niall Horan of One Direction during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Niall Horan from One Direction during day one of the 2015 BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey.
Rory McIlroy (right) and Niall Horan from One Direction during day one of the 2015 BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey.
Vitor Lopes hits an approach during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Former Manchester United player Paul Scholes during the Pro-Am at the 2015 BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey.
The Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming tees off during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Ernie Els' father Neels Els tees off during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Paul McGinley of Ireland hits an approach during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Ernie Els of South Africa walks across the18th green during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Ex-Footballer Darren Anderton hits an approach shot during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
India Clyburn looks on during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Niall Horan of One Direction gestures during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
India Clyburn hits an approach during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (L) and Niall Horan look on during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Niall Horan tees off during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Paul Scholes (L) and Niall Horan look on during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
India Clyburn hits from a bunker during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Thomas Bjorn of Denmark gestures during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Niall Horan of One Direction hits an approach during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Niall Horan of One Direction hits from a bunker during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Niall Horan of One Direction walks with Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (R) during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
Former Scotland Rugby Union player Rory Lawson in action during the Pro-Am ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 20, 2015 in Virginia Water, England.
England's James Morrison during the Pro-Am at the 2015 BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey.
South Africa's Hennie Otto during the Pro-Am at the 2015 BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey.

"I'll probably go and take a look at Chambers Bay a little bit ahead of time.

"But now I'm just fully focused on these two weeks and trying to play as well as I can here, and then I'll put the clubs away for a few days and then I'll turn my attention to the US Open."

Manchester United fan McIlroy played the pre-tournament pro-am with former Red Devils players Phil Neville and Paul Scholes, as well as One Direction's Niall Horan, who caddied for him in the par-three contest before this year's Masters.

"It was really good fun," McIlroy said.

"The boys were very nervous. I find that quite unusual but I guess if I had to go out and sing in front of a lot of people or play football in front of 70,000 at Old Trafford I would be a bit nervous as well.

"We chatted a little bit about football, a little about golf, a little about other things. It was really good fun. It's always good to play with guys like that, who have a real interest in the game as well."

Defending champion McIlroy is the favourite to claim his third win in four weeks after victory in the WGC-Cadillac Match Play and a seven-shot victory at Quail Hollow but US Open champion Martin Kaymer is wary of placing too much expectation on the shoulders of his Ryder Cup team-mate.

"I'm not sure if you can call it the 'Rory Era' yet, but he's definitely the player that you need to compare yourself with if you want to win tournaments," Kaymer said.

"Every time he's one of the favourites and he has a very good chance to win. I wouldn't put the pressure on Rory of calling it the new Rory Era.

"I know it's nice from the media and from the fans that people think like this about you, but I wouldn't put that pressure on someone who is 26-years-old."

Belfast Telegraph

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