McIlroy: "I Don't Fear Any Of Them. I've Beaten Them Before"

The four-time major winner returns this week in Abu Dhabi

McIlroy: "I Don't Fear Any Of Them. I've Beaten Them Before"
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The four-time major winner's recent interview with The Telegraph brought up some interesting points

McIlroy: "I Don't Fear Any Of Them. I've Beaten Them Before"

It's been a quiet few months for former world number one Rory McIlroy, who has had a prolonged winter break after an injury-plagued 2017 season.

The four-time major winner made his final appearance of 2017 in October at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, a week after he matched his best result of the year with a runner-up finish to Paul Dunne at the British Masters.

McIlroy returns to the sport he's dominated in years gone by at a lowly 11th in the world rankings which was his lowest in almost seven years.

He left the game in October at world number six, but has seen rivals such as Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Brooks Koepka all pass him.

However, Rory isn't bothered - at least that's what he told the Telegraph.

“I don’t care about the world rankings," McIlroy said.

Rory McIlroy plays his second shot from the 18th fairway during a practice round ahead of Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

"I don’t feel I need to compare myself to anyone else, because I know what I can do. I’m not hung up on it. Maybe before, I had to win from the front. I just don’t feel that now. I don’t fear any of them. Any one of them. I’ve beaten them before.”

"I need to get back on that track and this year my goals are to add to my major tally and get back to world No. 1, winning more times than anyone else.

Continues below

Expand Rory McIlroy To Keep Harry Diamond As Caddie In 2018

Rory McIlroy To Keep Harry Diamond As Caddie In 2018

Rory McIlroy To Keep Harry Diamond As Caddie In 2018

Rory will keep best friend Harry Diamond on…

Expand Rory McIlroy Gym Routine… Revealed!

Rory McIlroy Gym Routine

Rory McIlroy Gym Routine… Revealed!

We discovered how Rory McIlroy keeps himself so…

Expand Who Is Rory McIlroy’s Caddie?

Rory McIlroy's Caddie

Who Is Rory McIlroy’s Caddie?

Harry Diamond has been Rory McIlroy's caddie since…

"Let’s just say that between now and when I signed off last year, I feel way more optimistic, focused, motivated, purposeful. I know exactly what I can do.”

Now they're positive words from a man who's tasted major glory four times, won three Race to Dubai crowns, a FedEx Cup and 22 titles overall.

McIlroy is seeking to go beyond his tally of four major titles this year

The 28-year-old returns this week in Abu Dhabi ahead of a huge 2018, and if he's as hungry as he sounds, he could reclaim his number one spot this year.

In April he will attempt to complete the career grand slam with victory at the Masters, yet could seal his fifth major championship at any one of the year's big four.

A fifth major would put him on par with the likes of Phil Mickelson, James Braid, Seve Ballesteros and Byron Nelson. If he could wrap up two more he'd be level with Faldo and Trevino.

How do you think Rory McIlroy will get on in 2018? Let us know on the Golf Monthly social channels

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV