Hong Kong – He may be world number one and top of the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic, but Rory McIlroy said on Tuesday that he wants to play even better next year.
The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland, who has two Major titles under his belt, has enjoyed a stellar season. It culminated in him winning The Race to Dubai at the weekend after he finished third at the Singapore Open.
He had already clinched the PGA Tour money race, becoming only the second man after Luke Donald to win both the European and PGA money titles. He was also part of the European Ryder Cup team that snatched victory at the death.
But speaking ahead of the UBS Hong Kong Open, one of his favourite tournaments, defending champion McIlroy said: “I just want to keep improving as a player.
“It doesn't necessarily mean you have to overhaul your game in any way, but just keep making improvements on different aspects of the game, whether it be your bunker play or your chipping from semi-rough or anything like that.
“There's always different aspects to your game you can improve and I'll keep trying to do that, obviously. I feel like I've gradually progressed and gradually improved every year. That's something I still want to do going into 2013.”
McIlroy has ultimately set his sights on Colin Montgomerie's eight European merit wins, and even Jack Nicklaus's 18 Majors. But he declined to set any firm goals for next year.
“You pick these awards up at the end of the year and it's always a nice honour, it is always very special. But looking forward to next year, I just want to keep improving and try to become a better golfer,” he said.
“If I can do that, then more tournaments and more Majors will come. I'm not naming any goals or targets like that, I just want to keep trying to improve and keep trying to get better.”
The Hong Kong Open tees off on Thursday. – Sapa-AFP