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Rory McIlroy in fine form as he's immortalised as Michelangelo's David

By Staff Reporter

He has completely transformed his physique - through a strict dedication to the gym and reaching the peak of his sport.

Now Rory McIlroy has been compared to the iconic Michelangelo statue David - albeit with more clothes on.

The Northern Ireland sports stars features on the front cover of the latest edition of Golf Digest mocked up as the Renaissance masterpiece of the naked Biblical hero - but with an added kilt to preserve his modesty.

The aim of the super-imposed image is to pay tribute to McIlroy's muscular build and the role his increased fitness levels have played in his success.

The prestigious magazine describes the 25-year-old as 'the new model for greatness' and features him with David's pose and torso but with a bag of golf clubs slung over his shoulder and a green kilt.

Speaking to the magazine as he prepares to have a go at winning the Masters, which tees off on April 9, the Holywood golfer revealed the secrets to his success in 2014 during which he won The Open and the US PGA Championship, as well as playing a key part in Europe's Ryder Cup win.

A win at Augusta next month would ensure McIlroy's third major in succession and a career Grand Slam. McIlroy also cited his break-up with his fiancee, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, as a turning point in his dedication.

"After [the break-up], I thought "What else do I have in my life. I have family and friends, but they're always going to be there. What else?" he said.

"That's when I decided "You know what, I'm just going to immerse myself in golf for a while.

"I spent more time at it, thought about it more, spent more time at the range and at the gym. Because that's all I had, and that's all I wanted to do."

He also talks about how his swing has improved thanks to his new fitness regime strengthening the "big muscles" in his core.

His intense 90-minute gym sessions are taken 10 times a week with fitness instructor Steve McGregor.

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