McIlroy: The pressure is off

Rory McIlroy revealed that he believes he has learnt how to handle himself in pressure situations and that he is feeling great about the rest of 2015.

The Northern Irishman is in scintillating form, backing up his win at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championships with a record win at Quail Hollow on Sunday.

The world number one powered to a 21 under par finish, but he feels it could have been even better.

“I felt I could have been even lower,” quipped the 26-year-old on ESPN.

“There are a lot of things to play for and I don’t feel my game has ever been in better shape. I’m so excited for the next few months. I’ve learnt how to handle these positions and I’m finishing the job off the way I should.

“In the last 12 months I have won seven times and given myself lots of chances to win. It’s the most consistent I’ve been. I am just getting started. Now I am expected to win and also expect myself to go out there and win. I don’t even notice the pressure anymore.”

McIlroy enjoyed a purple patch in 2014, winning the three events in a row, including two Majors. With The Open Championship just over a month away, he feels he is in a similar space this time round.

“My level of golf does feel the way it was during that stretch when I won The Open, a World Golf Championship title and the USPGA in successive weeks,” he added.

“Last summer I felt very much in control of all aspects of my game. I was firing and everything was really on. After The Masters I think I might have been outside the top 100 in the FedEx Cup rankings, I’m now up to No 3.

“There’s still a long way to go in that but it’s always nice to see your name around the top. It’s just a great momentum builder. We’re going into the thick of the season and still have three Majors coming up.”

McIlroy tees off at this weeks’ BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Thursday, where he is the defending champion.