How Rory is handling newfound fame

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Rory McIlroy says he can no longer afford to be in awe of Tiger Woods, the boyhood hero of his youth.

Rory McIlroy says he can no longer afford to be in awe of Tiger Woods, the boyhood hero of his recent youth

The newest US Open champion believes it is of vital importance if he ever hopes to become a major force in the world of golf that he shrug aside his admiration for the former world No 1.

He idolized the 14-time major winner when he was growing up but now believes he’s got to stand up to Woods and treat him as any other high quality rival.

“I don’t want to feel inferior to any other golfer in the world,” McIlroy told CNN’s Piers Morgan. “If you do that then you are giving him an advantage right from the start.

“Obviously I respect everything that Tiger has done and as a kid I was in awe of what he was doing. But I am supposed to be a competitor of his now. I can’t be in awe of what he does or anything like that.

“All I have to do is focus on my game. He can do whatever he wants, but at the end of the day, if I concentrate on me and I play my best golf, I know that sometimes I will come out on top.”

McIlroy disclosed that his life since his eight-shot win at Congressional two weeks ago had been a hectic, non-stop social scramble from one place to another

And he is well aware that the pressure can only grow if he keeps on winning, but he hopes he can fare better in the spotlight than Woods did after his double life was exposed and splashed across the pages of the sensation press.

Said the Northern Ireland World No 4: “It’s a tough one because as a golfer you grow up and all you try to do is imagine winning tournaments and becoming the best golfer you can be.

“But you don’t realise that everything that comes along with all that; the fame, the attention – is something that I will just have to deal with. I know, .

“I feel Tiger managed it very well for a long time before it all just obviously all sort of got to him. It is a very tough position to be in.”

McIlroy knows it’s important to keep his feet on the ground and believes that he will do that with the help of his family and childhood sweetheart Holly Sweeney.

He says: “That’s why a lot of the golfers travel with their families and with their wives. You need a good team around you to keep you grounded and keep you in check with reality and keep a sense of perspective.

“I feel as if I’m lucky that I have got great parents. I have got a great family and great friends.”

His girlfriend, he said, kept him “very grounded”.

“She doesn’t take any grief from me. She’s great. We are going to get attention, good and bad. But again, it is just something we are going to have to learn to deal with.

“It’s amazing how life can change so quickly and you have just got to adapt to it at the time.”

Even though he foresaw that he could lose his World No 3 ranking in doing so, McIlroy has taken three weeks off ahead of next week’s Open to deal with the aftermath of his first major win.

The new No 4 sandwiched a trip to Hamburg for David Hayes’ heavyweight title loss to Vladimir Klitschko between two trips to the tennis at Wimbledon.

But he insisted he’ll be ready to go at Sandwich next week, despite not playing a competitive round since his Congressional win.

Before watching his good friend Rafa Nadal lose to Novak Djokovic on Sunday, McIlroy said: “I’ve been here, there and everywhere. It’s nice to get away from golf for a little bit and take in a few other sporting occasions.

“I’m doing all the same things I usually do going into a major. I’m not cutting any corners. I’m feeling good. I’m feeling confident. My game’s in really good shape so hopefully I’ll have another run at it at St George’s.

Rory McIlroy says he can no longer afford to be in awe of Tiger Woods, his boyhood hero when he was growing up

The newest US Open champion believes it is of vital importance if he ever hopes to become a major force in the world of golf that he shrug aside his admiration for the former world No 1 – or for that matter any of his other golfing heroes. .

He idolized the 14-time major winner when he was growing up but now believes he’s got to stand up to Woods and treat him as any other high quality rival.

“I don’t want to feel inferior to any other golfer in the world,” McIlroy told CNN’s Piers Morgan. “If you do that then you are giving him an advantage right from the start.

“Obviously I respect everything that Tiger has done and as a kid I was in awe of what he was doing. But I am supposed to be a competitor of his now. I can’t be in awe of what he does or anything like that.

“All I have to do is focus on my game. He can do whatever he wants, but at the end of the day, if I concentrate on me and I play my best golf, I know that sometimes I will come out on top.”

McIlroy disclosed that his life since his eight-shot win at Congressional two weeks ago had been a hectic, non-stop social scramble from one place to another

And he is well aware that the pressure can only grow if he keeps on winning, but he hopes he can fare better in the spotlight than Woods did after his double life was exposed and splashed across the pages of the sensation press.

Said the Northern Ireland World No 4: “It’s a tough one because as a golfer you grow up and all you try to do is imagine winning tournaments and becoming the best golfer you can be.

“But you don’t realise that everything that comes along with all that; the fame, the attention – is something that I will just have to deal with. I know, .

“I feel Tiger managed it very well for a long time before it all just obviously all sort of got to him. It is a very tough position to be in.”

McIlroy knows it’s important to keep his feet on the ground and believes that he will do that with the help of his family and childhood sweetheart Holly Sweeney.

He says: “That’s why a lot of the golfers travel with their families and with their wives. You need a good team around you to keep you grounded and keep you in check with reality and keep a sense of perspective.

“I feel as if I’m lucky that I have got great parents. I have got a great family and great friends.”

His girlfriend, he said, kept him “very grounded”.

“She doesn’t take any grief from me. She’s great. We are going to get attention, good and bad. But again, it is just something we are going to have to learn to deal with.

“It’s amazing how life can change so quickly and you have just got to adapt to it at the time.”

Even though he foresaw that he could lose his World No 3 ranking in doing so, McIlroy has taken three weeks off ahead of next week’s Open to deal with the aftermath of his first major win.

The new No 4 sandwiched a trip to Hamburg for David Hayes’ heavyweight title loss to Vladimir Klitschko between two trips to the tennis at Wimbledon.

But he insisted he’ll be ready to go at Sandwich next week, despite not playing a competitive round since his Congressional win.

Before watching his good friend Rafa Nadal lose to

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