'Determined' Rory McIlroy Enjoying The Challenge Of Finding His Best Form Again

Despite another Masters disappointment, Rory McIlroy says he's enjoying the challenge of trying to find his best form again

Rory McIlroy uses the TaylorMade mini driver at the RBC Heritage
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite not quite having control of his game, Rory McIlroy insists he is loving golf at the moment and embracing the challenge of getting back on top form.

McIlroy shot a four-under-par round of 67 at Harbour Town Links in the first round of the RBC Heritage despite not having his best stuff – which is a welcome return after a disappointing T22 finish at The Masters.

The Northern Irishman said at Augusta National that he was enjoying his golf, and despite the obvious disappointment at missing out on the Green Jacket again, that still holds true.

McIlroy says the challenge of trying to get fully in control of his full game, which he’ll need if he’s to try and match Scottie Scheffler, is something he’s embracing. 

“I think the challenge more than anything else,” McIlroy said of why he’s still enjoying his golf. “Don't feel like I'm quite on top of my game. But I'm determined to sort of get on top of it. 

“Yeah, I'm liking the challenge at the minute and liking trying to figure it out.”

Playing partner Ludvig Aberg was just a shot better than McIlroy in his first round, but looked a bit more in control of his shots – especially in his iron play, which as area of focus for the four-time Major champion.

“I think just the iron play,” McIlroy said of where he’s focusing on improving. “I'm hitting the ball pretty good off the tee. 

“Look, I see signs that the iron play is getting a little bit better, but it's just not - playing with someone like Ludvig who is completely in control of his game at the minute, yeah, I just need to get a little bit more in control, and if I do that, then I'm going to be a bit more sure of myself and make more committed swings.

“At the minute, it's just - it's a process, but I'm working at it.” 

McIlroy puts mini driver in play

Photo of the TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Copper

(Image credit: TaylorMade Golf)

Although his prowess off the tee is still there, McIlroy has made a change in that department this week with the tighter surroundings of Harbour Town – putting TaylorMade’s new BRNR Mini Driver Copper in the bag.

Due to the wind, he didn’t use it as much as planned, but it’s something he’ll be putting into play a lot over the next few days.

“I hit it a little bit. I actually think I only hit it three times,” said McIlroy. “The way the wind was today out of the south means I didn't hit it - some of the holes I hit it in practice, I was hitting 5-wood off the tee and then there was a couple of holes where I hit mini in the practice round, then hit driver because the wind was into.

“But it's a great club. It's versatile. I'm sure I'll use it quite a bit over these next few days.”

TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Copper | $449.99 at Carl's Golfland

TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver Copper | $449.99 at Carl's Golfland
The new look BRNR Mini Driver is a really good option for those looking for a powerful alternative to a standard driver from the tee. The more compact head and shorter shaft encourage more control, and the new logo and copper crown strip look great!

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.