McIlroy targets more major joy
World number one Rory McIlroy says he'd be disappointed if he didn't win another major next year.
Speaking in a television interview set to air in Ireland this week, McIlroy says his main focus in 2013 will be putting himself in contention for all four majors, and hopefully crossing the ones he hasn't yet won, the Masters and the Open, off his to-do list.
The career Grand Slam, he admits, is definitely on his mind.
"It is something I have thought about. I've got the Masters and the Open still to win to try and get that," said the Northern Irishman. "I said at the start of this year that if I didn't win a major I would be disappointed. And going into next year I will say the same.
"If in 2013 I don't win a major I will be disappointed. But I just want to contend more in the majors next year.
"I only had one chance to win a major in 2012 and luckily I was able to win it. I would love to give myself a chance in all four next year."
Speaking about the state of his game, McIlroy was quick to credit the work he's done with short game coach Dave Stockton as instrumental in his continuing success.
"It's something I really have worked hard on," McIlroy said. "It's something I really have improved. I think that's been the big difference this year.
"In previous years it's been my long game that has won my tournaments. But this year for sure my short game has won me at least two or three of the tournaments I've won and kept me in tournaments I might not have won but I've come close in.
"It's been a huge improvement. I've worked with Dave Stockton now for about a year and a half and it has really paid dividends. I knew that I had to become a little bit better around the greens and I have been able to do that and still try to improve of that area of the game."
McIlroy was also asked for comment on the thorny issue regarding whether he will swear allegiance to Ireland or Team GB when golf returns to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
"It's a difficult position to be in because you don't want to let anyone down," he said. "You don't want to upset anyone with a choice that you make because I feel I am more than just a flag.
"I play golf and I am an international sportsperson and it doesn't tie me to one flag or one allegiance and it's just been a tough position to be put in."
As for the future, McIlroy would love a chance to experience the dream he's had since he was a boy - going down the stretch at a major tournament in a head-to-head battle with Tiger Woods.
"I hope that can keep up the level I am playing to at the minute and I hope he does too," said McIlroy. "I would love to have some battles with Tiger coming down the stretch in majors and big tournaments.
"Tiger was a huge hero of mine growing up and it be able to play against your hero now and go down the stretch and beat him sometime and hopefully beat him the majority of the time is a huge thrill for me.
"I didn't know if I would ever get to do it. People ask me, 'What's it like living this life? What's it like to be Rory McIlroy?'
"Well, I am living out my dream. This is what I've always dreamed of and I don't think it gets any better than that."