Golf: Weary McIlroy vows he'll be ready for Ryder Cup

The grind has Rory McIlroy looking forward to the long break coming after next month's Ryder Cup.
The grind has Rory McIlroy looking forward to the long break coming after next month's Ryder Cup.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A fatigued Rory McIlroy says it takes extra effort to get going in the final days of the US PGA season but he'll be rested and ready for September's Ryder Cup.

The 32-year-old from Northern Ireland is grinding through the penultimate event of the 2020-21 campaign at this week's BMW Championship at Caves Valley in suburban Baltimore, Maryland.

But after playing at the British Open and the Tokyo Olympics last month and last week's US PGA playoff opener at Liberty National, 16th-ranked McIlroy is feeling weary.

"I've played more than I probably should have and feel like it's just sort of all caught up with me," McIlroy said Wednesday (Aug 25).

"I feel like a lot of guys feel right now, a little jaded, a little tired. End of the season, there's been a lot of golf, so a lot of travel.

"I'm just sort of getting through it, to be honest. I'm going day by day and just trying to get through it as best I can and try to make it to next week. After that, two weeks off before the Ryder Cup."

Four-time major winner McIlroy is counting on that break to revive him before holders Europe risk the trophy once more against the host Americans at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

"Having two weeks off after the Tour Championship is going to be nice," McIlroy said. "I haven't missed a session yet. So say I play five sessions again, yeah, it's a really long week.

"The two weeks off after the Tour Championship are going to be well needed and I'll go in there nice and refreshed and ready to give it my all."

This week, McIlroy will be trying to hang onto a berth in next week's season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

He ranks 28th in the FedEx Cup season points standings with the top 30 after Sunday's final round advancing to next week's showdown for the crown.

"The game feels pretty good," McIlroy said. "Energy levels are somewhat sort of trying to dig deep at this point, but try and keep going and put in a good finish this week to make sure I'm in Atlanta next week."

He was having enough trouble being in Baltimore on Wednesday after playing a hurricane-delayed final PGA round Monday at Liberty National in New Jersey, then flying home for a night and back to Baltimore.

"This morning, I was tired," McIlroy said. "We all had a long week last week, as well, but even just summoning up the effort to get out of bed and go get to your 7:20 pro-am tee time, it look a little more effort today than it usually does."

The grind has McIlroy looking forward to the long break coming after next month's Ryder Cup.

"Just not travelling for a little bit. I'm going to take a bit of time off after the Ryder Cup and that'll be nice.

"Since we came back after the Covid halt, when we came back in (June at) Colonial last year, I think this is my 33rd event since then. Next week will be 34 and then Ryder Cup 35. So all that in a space of 15 months, it's a lot of golf. It's probably too much for me."

McIlroy spent some extra time on the driving range working with a new 3-wood after discarding his old one off the ninth tee on Monday near a major highway adjacent to Liberty National.

"I threw my 3-wood onto the New Jersey Turnpike off the 9th hole on Monday," he said. "I mightn't have reached the road but I threw it into the trees off the ninth tee at Liberty National, so if someone wants to go get a 3-wood, there's one in there somewhere."