McIlroy has more respect for Tiger

The last month in the spotlight has left Rory McIlroy even more appreciative of Tiger Woods’ long list of achievements.

Pressure-filled victories at the Open and last week’s US PGA Championship bookended another win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational for McIlroy, and the month’s toil in the glare of the spotlight has taken its toll.

“To be up there with the lead week-in and week-out and trying to win these big golf tournaments, it’s tough, mentally and physically,” McIlroy said. “I was a little flat the first six holes of the final round but just sort of told myself, we have 12 holes left, you can take a week off after this and enjoy it.

“It sort of makes you appreciate more what Tiger has done in the past and getting on these runs that he’s gone on and keeping it going for months on end basically and I think that’s why off-weeks are important.

“I think this week for me is going to be very important just to recharge the batteries and get ready for the big stretch of golf that we’ve still got coming up.”

While he needs some time to rest and recharge, McIlroy isn’t about to let up. Having moved to the top of the FedEX Cup standings following is Valhalla triumph, that will be next on his agenda.

If the world number one can remain in that position after the four play-off events, he would claim a 10million US dollars (£6million) bonus.

McIlroy came close in 2012, when victories at the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship saw him lead the standings until Brandt Snedeker rose from fifth to first with his Tour Championship win.

“I came close a couple of years ago and didn’t quite get the job done,” McIlroy added. “But I feel like my game’s in good enough shape that I can keep this run of golf going and try and win that.

“I want to try and go into he Ryder Cup with the best possible form that I can and then finish the season off well. I’ve got a few tournaments in the Far East, the Race to Dubai and then I’m going to go down and defend the Australian Open and then that’s going to be me shutting it down for the year.”