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McIlroy reveals 'external pressures' influenced decision to play on

85   //    24 Aug 2017, 15:56 IST
Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy revealed that "external pressures" and his desire to claim an elusive first win of the year were behind his decision to continue playing until October.

McIlroy is set to take a three-month break after the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship to give himself every chance of hitting the ground running in 2018. 

The four-time major champion suggested he could miss the rest of the season after his final round at the US PGA Championship, as he continues to be troubled by a rib injury.

However, McIlroy decided to play all four of FedExCup play-off events and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship from October 5-8.

The Northern Irishman will tee off in The Northern Trust, the first FedExCup play-off event in New York, on Thursday, but is already looking forward to time away from the course and what he hopes will be a more fruitful year to come.

"I was unsure [over whether to play on] and I came pretty close to deciding to wait and get myself healthy, but I still have a lot of time after these events to do that and I feel like I am capable of winning," said McIlroy.

"There was definitely external pressures [to continue playing] but I think the real thing for me was I want to win at least once before the end of the year.

"I have not failed to win a tournament since the 2008 season, which was my real rookie season on the European Tour. Even in 2013, when I struggled, I went down to Australia at the end of the year and won.

"I'm excited for it. To have three months where I can just focus on myself, my health, my game and just improvement.

"I don't think I'm ever going to get another chance like this in my career again, to take three months to re-evaluate things, to work on some stuff and get better.

"I feel like it's a tremendous opportunity to improve as a golfer, my health and everything. I'm excited to play these next few weeks, but I've already sat down with my team and we have a three-month plan going forward.

"I'm getting a lot of assessments and testing done 19-20 October and then all we'll be focusing on is getting me in the best possible shape with my body and my game going into 2018."


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