Rory McIlroy renowned being named PGA Tour Player of Year for the third time, however, he’s already planning for next year’s Masters.
McIlroy was surprised after topping the votes out of his PGA Tour specialists ahead of current world # 1 Brooks Koepka, when he had been presented with the Jack Nicklaus award, by Jack Nicklaus himself.
The 30-year-old captured the PGA Tour’s flagship event, The Players Championship, for the first time at March, and he finished the year with a dominant victory at the Tour Championship that brought him his second FedExCup title, and also a bonus.
But after a season in the majors, McIlroy has left winning his No 1 priority to the Experts and is aiming to put that right at 2020.
Talking to Sky Sports News, here is what McIlroy had to say on his urge to win the Green Jacket, the esteem he needs for Koepka, the contentious new significant program and much more…
I’d give a lot [to win it]! It’s the one. I’ve been very fortunate and blessed enough to win anything there is to win in golf, so that’s the last piece in the puzzlegame.
I feel after a year like I’ve had that I am more prepared than ever to proceed and try and maintain it and win it. Each single time you return there you get more and more comfortable, so next year is your year.
I feel like I am confident in my game that I will have a good chance .
I hunted for Brooks to triumph. I thought it was fairly tight. Brooks won another major had an incredible year and played.
He beat me in July Memphis pretty convincingly and then I made him back in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago. I believed it was really going to be tight and I didn’t know if the major that he won went to influence the vote one way or the other.
It’s fine once you’re voted on by your peers and you come out on top, it’s a wonderful feeling.
It is always pleasant to get a win under your belt at the start of the season and that’s the first tournament of this year. It’s a place I’ve fought at for a while and I think that the move back to March meant that the class played with more favourably for me personally.
I could strike motorist more, might be a bit more competitive and it turned out to be a excellent spot. That obviously put me up for what has been a excellent season.
It’s the way it is and it felt quite bunched together for a lot of us, although we are all creatures of habit. We don’t create the schedules and we’re told where to play, so you’ve got to be ready to perform with.
I thought it worked. I believe people had sufficient time to get ready for every large event. It keeps people a little bit more curious, particularly on this side of the pond with the FedExCup finish.
It is an adjustment for everybody, but I think by the next season comes around I don’t think you will hear much discussion about the schedule anymore.
It is not the first time that I’ve obtained a bit and for that I play now, but you need time off to reflect and recharge the batteries.
Play with the Dunhill Links Championship after then I’m heading to Wentworth on Sunday, and then I return to Florida and have three weeks off before heading to Asia.
I’ll play Japan and China and I’ll head to Dubai, so I have still got quite a bit of traveling coming up, but after that I think I’m likely to take eight weeks off to unwind and reflect on what has been a excellent season and try to get back myself up again for 2020.
I think that’s all I can ask and when I return at years in which I’ve had success, if that’s 2012 or 2014, I feel as if I’m a better golfer now than I was for.
I feel like I have improved, I feel like I’ve learnt a couple of things about myself and my game which gives me a great deal of confidence moving forward.
Since I turned pro right now, it has been a stretch for me, I’ve been on an unbelievable journey and I really feel like I’m not even at the halfway stage. I’ve got a good left to look forward to.