McIlroy looking to end on a high
Rory McIlroy is looking to looking to end the major season on a high by capturing the USPGA title in South Carolina this weekend.
The final major of the season is called "Glory's Last Shot" and it is also, of course, McIlroy's last shot at putting a gloss on his year by adding the title to his runaway US Open victory 14 months ago.
The world number three, for whom a top two finish could see him dethrone Luke Donald at the top of the rankings again, started 2012 in brilliant form.
But come The Masters he was only 40th, he made an early exit from the US Open during a miserable run of four missed cuts in five starts and after a promising first day he fell away to 60th in The Open at Royal Lytham.
"There were a few goals I set myself at the start of the year, which I achieved - getting to number one in the world and winning a tournament early," the 23-year-old Northern Irishman said today at stormy Kiawah Island.
"The second-half has still been pretty good, but a little bit more of a struggle.
"If I had to give my season a grade to this point I'd probably give it a B, but there's still a lot of golf left to play."
After this week he goes into the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup play-offs, then comes the Ryder Cup in Chicago - a match now very much in his focus after European captain Jose Maria Olazabal brought the 10 players currently in position to qualify together for a meeting yesterday.
McIlroy's approach to tournaments is changing somewhat. He no longer considers hour after hour on the driving range good for him.
"I need to get out there and play, see shots on the course," he said.
"I think certain players feel like they need to be on the range for two or three hours a day and really work on drills.
"I feel I practise much better on the course when I can see different shots and work off different targets - and just play.
"I'll still go and practise on the range and work on things that I have to, but once I feel comfortable that I've done that I want to go on the course and make sure it's good out there."
A fifth place finish at last week's world championship was clearly a massive improvement on The Open and he likes what he sees at Pete Dye's Ocean Course, scene not only of two World Cups, but also the 1991 "War on the Shore" Ryder Cup.
The last 16 majors have had 16 different winners, but McIlroy looks as likely as anyone to stop that sequence continuing.
Justin Rose, joint fifth with McIlroy on Sunday, would love to see it go to 17 with him winning his first major, of course, and it is more familiar surroundings for him than most of the field - he finished second with Paul Casey behind South Africans Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini in the 2003 World Cup.
Casey is also in this week's field, but now down at 93rd in the world after making just one halfway cut since he dislocated his shoulder snowboarding last Christmas.