sport

McIlroy plays down the hype

Rory McIlroy admits he is in the best form of his life at present but he is not ready to launch the ‘Rory era’ just yet.

The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland continued his superb run by winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Akron on Sunday to overtake Adam Scott at the top of the world rankings.

That victory followed on from his fourth major success in the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool last month and he now goes for another major crown in the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla this week.

"I've had a great run and I've played well over the past few months," said McIlroy, who has claimed eight top-eight finishes this season.

\"I said at the start of the year that golf was looking for someone to put their hand up and become one of the dominant players in the game.

"I felt like I had the ability to do that and it's just nice to be able to win a few tournaments and get back to where I feel like I should be, which is near the top of the world rankings and competing in majors and winning golf tournaments.

"I'm not necessarily sure you can call that an era or the start of an era, but I'm just really happy with where my golf game is at the minute and I just want to try and continue that for as long as possible.

"People can say what they want to say, that's fine. But I can't read too much into it.

"Sometimes I feel that people are too quick to jump to conclusions and jump on the bandwagon and jump on certain things.\"

McIlroy is the 9/2 favourite with Sky Bet to win in Kentucky this week, but he has played down the hype as he prepares to tee up at a course he is seeing in person for the first time.

"If you read everything that's being written, I would turn up at the first tee on Thursday thinking I had already won the tournament," he said.

McIlroy took a day off Monday to make sure his mind is as ready as his body for the challenges Valhalla poses.

"I needed just to recharge a little bit," he said. "Emotionally and mentally it's more fatiguing after you win tournaments than physically. So just to give your brain a rest is a good thing.

"People can talk about my driving or how I'm swinging the club but mentally I just feel like I'm in a really good place and that's what I'm really happy about."

You can watch the US PGA Championship live on Sky Sports 4 from 6pm on Thursday.