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McIlroy needs to play more

Last updated: 22nd January 2013

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Rory McIlroy: Under scrutiny

Rory McIlroy: Under scrutiny

Padraig Harrington said Rory McIlroy needed to play in more low key competitions, to help improve his game.

McIlroy, who crashed out at the Abu Dhabi Championships on Friday, indicated that his next tournament appearance will be at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship on February 20.

In essence, he will miss out on all the minor tournaments which take place before that.

"There's no substitute for playing in low key competitions," said Harrington on Tuesday.

"And while we are in discussion about Rory here, I will say the greatest way of doing it is low key.

"There's nothing better than turning up and playing as it's the ideal way to go out there and gamble," said the three-time major champion.

"Ultimately, he's got to get out and play bounce games. Get out on the course and he will know that. On a Tuesday, I hit the ball 30 yards shorter than I hit it during the tournament. "

Harrington doesn't believe McIlroy would be in a no-win situation, should he elect to add a minor event to his schedule and then go on to fail at an important tournament, like he did in Abu Dhabi.

"No, not at all because if Rory played great it will be a win-win situation," said Harrington.

"Of course, how last week went down won't feel good to him because of the spotlight and the pressure but he's got four weeks off to go and play in nice conditions and figure out.

"The biggest thing, and he's wise enough to know this, is that he can't let anybody get in his head.

"That's the biggest threat as I played a few holes in practice with him during last week and he was hitting it fine, so he just doesn't want to let anyone get in his head.

"But then the problem of being World No. 1 is he's in the spotlight and the focus is there.

"As much as you try and keep your head down, the media is going to ask him the same leading questions. You get asked a question enough and that gets into your head, " he added.



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