Rory McIlroy, who is tired, believes it takes additional effort to get going in the last days of the US PGA season, but that he will be rested and ready for the Ryder Cup in September.
At this week’s BMW Championship at Caves Valley in suburban Baltimore, Maryland, the 32-year-old from Northern Ireland is grinding through the penultimate event of the 2020-21 season.
However, the 16th-ranked McIlroy is exhausted after competing in the British Open and the Tokyo Olympics last month, as well as last week’s US PGA playoff opener at Liberty National.
McIlroy said Wednesday, “I’ve played more than I probably should have and feel like it’s all caught up with me.”
“I’m a little jaded, a little tired, like a lot of guys right now.” There’s a lot of golf at the end of the season, therefore there’s a lot of travel.
“To be honest, I’m simply getting through it.” I’m taking it day by day and trying to get through it as quickly as possible in order to make it to next week. Then it’s two weeks off before the Ryder Cup.”
McIlroy, a four-time major winner, is hoping for a boost from that break before Europe defends the trophy against the Americans at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
“It’ll be good to have two weeks off following the Tour Championship,” McIlroy added. “I haven’t missed a single class.” So, if I play five sessions again, that’s going to be a long week.
“The two weeks break following the Tour Championship will be much needed, and I’ll be fresh and ready to give it my all when I return.”
McIlroy will be battling for a spot in the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta next week.
He is currently ranked 28th in the FedEx Cup season points standings, with the top 30 players going to next week’s championship match.
“It seems like a really nice game,” McIlroy said. “At this moment, my energy levels are trying to dig deep, but I’m going to keep working and put in a nice finish this week to ensure I’m in Atlanta next week.”
McIlroy was already having enough problems being in Baltimore on Wednesday after playing a hurricane-affected final PGA round Monday at Liberty National in New Jersey, then traveling home for the night before returning to Baltimore.
“I was fatigued this morning,” McIlroy admitted. “We all had a hard week last week, too, but even getting out of bed and getting to your 7:20 pro-am tee time seemed to take a bit more work today than it typically did.”
3-WOOD IN THE AREA OF THE HIGHWAY
McIlroy is looking forward to the long break that will follow the Ryder Cup next month.
“I’m just not going to travel for a while.” After the Ryder Cup, I’m going to take some time off, which will be wonderful.
“I believe this is my 33rd event since we returned after the Covid suspension, when we returned in (June at) Colonial last year.” The 34th Ryder Cup will be held next week, followed by the 35th Ryder Cup. So that’s a lot of golf in a 15-month time frame. It’ll most likely be too much for me.”
After losing his old 3-wood off the ninth tee near a major highway adjacent to Liberty National on Monday, McIlroy spent some additional time on the driving range working with a new one.
“On Monday, I hit my 3-wood onto the New Jersey Turnpike from the 9th hole,” he remarked. “I may not have made it to the road, but I threw it into the trees off the ninth hole at Liberty National, so if someone needs a 3-wood, it’s in there somewhere.”