McIIroy targets Grand Slam victory

  • Rory


Quiet please

Spectators will be allowed to take their mobile phones with them during next week’s PGA Grand Slam.
Organisers have changed their policy of not allowing any phones on the course, however all phones will have to be kept on ‘silent’ or ‘vibrate’ and can only be used in select areas.
The PGA have published a list of guidelines that spectators will have to follow, including: no calls will be permitted on the hole contestants are playing; no video recording; photographs will be permitted on Monday only; and data use (texting, emailing) will be permitted providing contestants are not about to play a shot.
Anyone not obeying these rules with have their phone confiscated.

Rory McIlroy said it would be an honour to win next week’s PGA Grand Slam and is going all out to do so.

While some view the tournament as being less important than a regular Tour event, McIlroy pointed to the greats of the game who had won in the past and said having his name alongside theirs was motivation enough to want to come out on top.

“Just look at the list of winners,” said McIlroy, “It includes Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Greg Norman, greats of the game. It would be an honour for me to have my name join that group, and I will be going all out to win it.”

Joining the likes of Woods, Els and Norman is only part of McIlroy’s motivation for wanting to win, there is also the desire to go one better than Graeme McDowell, the man he replaced as US Open champion.

“Graeme is a close friend of mine,” said McIlroy. “It was great for me to be able to emulate his success at the US Open at Pebble Beach in 2010. I know how much he enjoyed coming to Bermuda as a major champion. Now I understand why, only I aim to go one better and win it.”

McDowell might not be coming back this year, but his fellow countryman will still be in familiar company when he plays at Port Royal Golf Course next week.

Darren Clarke, The Open champion, is also in the Grand Slam field, and McIlroy has been playing golf with his fellow Northern Irishman since McIlroy was 12-years-old. Times have changed in the decade since that moment and the two are now first time major winners and played the first two rounds of the US PGA Championship in August together.

“I think I was about 12-years-old as a member of Darren Clarke’s golf school when I first played with him,” said McIlroy. “I was so excited to be associated with a great golfing hero in Northern Ireland. I remember having his mobile number in my phone. I was so proud of that.

“Obviously as major champions it was a very different experience (playing together) and a proud moment for us both. Darren was still coming to terms I think with the scale of his achievement.

“I had an extra month to get over my US Open win and was feeling more myself. It takes a lot out of you. It is fair to say Darren was probably still feeling the effects of his brilliant win at The Open.”

If he does win McIlroy will have done it the hard way, with a tough schedule that sees him arrive to Bermuda in the middle of a nine tournament, five country blast in just 11 weeks.

The Northern Irishman arrives in Bermuda on Monday morning on a private jet from Los Angeles having spent this week in China playing in an exhibition event alongside Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter. That day’s Pro Am, which always opens the tournament, has been put back to a midday start to accommodate him.

Port Royal officials are also making plans for McIlroy’s arrival, and a sofa bed is expected to be placed in the players’ dressing room in case McIlroy feels the need to sleep like Y.E. Yang did two years ago following his mammoth two-day trek to the Island from Korea.

Already a crowd-puller, McIlroy found his popularity increased even more when people discovered he was coming to Bermuda. While he won’t be bringing that many people with him, his parents will be making the trip.

“My mum and dad will be coming along, which is great,” said McIlroy. “Dad comes to a few tournaments but mum not so many. I know they are looking forward to it as much as I am. “

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Published Oct 13, 2011 at 7:35 am (Updated Oct 13, 2011 at 7:33 am)

McIIroy targets Grand Slam victory

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