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World number one golfer Rory McIlroy is intent on building a lasting legacy

By Robert Jones

Rory McIlroy says he wants to become "the best of this generation" as a young crop of golfers threaten to dominate the global game.

The world number one has been in superb form in recent weeks, blowing away the competition at the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday to romp to victory by seven shots.

And ahead of his defence of the BMW PGA Championship, which begins at Wentworth tomorrow, four-time Major winner McIlroy has his sights set on creating a lasting legacy.

"I feel like I'm in a generation with a lot of young guys who are coming up and I want to be the best of this generation," said the Ulsterman.

"I want to win a lot more tournaments, I can win a lot more Majors. I haven't put a number on it because I don't want to put that burden on myself. I just want to be better than everyone else.

"I've put in a lot of hard work over the past 12 months. I don't want to say re-dedicated myself, I've always been dedicated to being the best, just working that little bit harder, just those tiny little differences that separate a top-five finish from a win."

At 26, McIlroy has achieved more than most golfers in their entire careers, but the Northern Irishman does not envisage continuing to play into his 40s.

"I don't anticipate playing senior golf or championship golf. I used to think 40," he said. "That's 14 years away, that's longer than most sports people have, and I've already had an eight-year career in golf.

"Twenty five years should be enough to help me achieve what I want to. If there comes a time when I feel I can't win or give it my best I'd very happily hang up the sticks and do something else."

McIlroy was also quick to distance himself from comparisons with 14-time Major champion Tiger Woods, whose performances earlier in his career helped to raise the profile of the sport.

"I'll never be able to do for golf what Tiger did," McIlroy added.

"He was a phenomenon, he brought so many more people into the game because of his background and how he started on tour."

Patrick Reed, meanwhile, has withdrawn from the PGA Championship and the Irish Open.

The 25-year-old American was due to play at the European Tour's flagship event for the first time before competing at Royal County Down next week at The Irish Open, hosted by McIlroy. But he now says he "will not be able to travel overseas at this time".

Reed is now listed in the field for the Invitational at Colonial in the United States this week and said he is "disappointed to withdraw from Wentworth and the Irish Open".

CASTLEDAWSON'S Chris Selfridge has signed with BlackStar Golf.

Selfridge, who will leave the amateur ranks this week, is currently inside the Top 100 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Selfridge, 23, said: "I am delighted to join BlackStar Golf, and obviously will be trying to gain my full card for 2016 through the playing opportunities that I am hoping to have on the European Challenge Tour this year."

Jeremy Robinson, director of BlackStar Golf, said: "We are delighted to have signed Chris. He has had a very successful amateur career, including being the Northern Ireland Amateur Champion for the past two years."

Selfridge will start his professional career at the D+D Real Czech Challenge on May 28 at the Golf & Spa Kuneticka Hora, Dritec.

In August, Selfridge will make his professional debut on home soil at the 2015 Northern Ireland Open, in association with SPHERE Global and Ulster Bank.


Video: Rory McIlroy's best bits from Ryder Cups to Major Championships

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