Rory McIlroy believes that he in prime shape to challenge for a maiden home title at this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation, and the World Number One revealed that any earnings he makes come the end of the week will go to his charitable foundation. The Northern Irishman missed the cut at last week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, but believes that the weekend’s rest has done him a lot of good.
Now he is ready for battle, and the 26 year old will have to overcome a strong field if he is to add this trophy to his ever-expanding collection, with reigning US Open Champion Martin Kaymer, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia and four-time Major champion Ernie Els leading an impressive list of international stars looking to upstage McIlroy and fellow Irish Major winning legends Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington at Royal County Down Golf Club.
Rory McIlroy quotes from the press conference earlier
“I do feel refreshed. I didn’t get out of bed until one o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday. I came here on Sunday and played a quiet 18 holes, then I came back on Monday morning and played.
“I feel very prepared. That was my third practice round. I haven’t played three practice rounds for a tournament since the Masters. I really just want to do well this week and it’s given me a bit of extra time which I think I can use.
“It’s great that we have assembled such a great field on a world class golf course. With everyone here, there’s a lot of buzz, there’s a lot of talk about the tournament and at the same time, we are going to help a lot of people because of this tournament, as well.
“So we are going to achieve a lot of good things this week. Hopefully I can get all the people out there that followed me on the range something to cheer about with some good golf.
“What I want to get out of it this year is just to raise a lot of money for the Foundation and for the cancer fund. Ultimately if I play well, and if I do well in the tournament, then all the money that I earn is going to go towards that, as well.
“So I’m not really playing for myself this week. I’m playing for a lot of other people and it gives me an incentive to go out there and enjoy it and try to play well.”