US Open 2014: Rory McIlroy targets third major title with victory at Pinehurst
Last Updated: 12/06/14 8:43am
Rory McIlroy speaks to the press
Rory McIlroy admits that winning more majors is his priority in 2014 following a poor set of results in the big events in 2013.
After winning the 2011 US Open at Congressional and the 2012 US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island - both by stunning eight-shot margins - the Northern Irishman's difficult 2013 was highlighted by his disappointing performances in the majors.
He finished 25th in The Masters at Augusta, tied 41st in the US Open at Merion, missed the cut in The Open Championship at Muirfield and tied eighth in the US PGA.
Having secured victory in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last month, McIlroy is relishing the chance to push for more major glory in this week's US Open at Pinehurst No 2.
"After the season I had in the majors last year, I was coming in this year and making them a real priority," he said in Wednesday's US Open press conference.
"I want to get in contention. I want to feel the buzz of being there on the last day of majors and having a chance to win and being more consistent.
"I didn't really do that at The Masters this year. I finished top 10 but I never really had a chance to win. I had a good weekend which was nice but I've got three majors left this season and they're the biggest tournaments in the world and you want to try and do as well as you can in them and you do everything you can do prepare the best way possible.
"It's only been five majors since I won at Kiawah (Island) so it's not that bad but, even if it doesn't happen this week, getting myself into contention and feeling that buzz of having a chance, that's really what I want to do."
The weather forecast suggests plenty of rain at Pinehurst this week and McIlroy believes it could help his bid.
"I seem to do well on wet golf courses. Even though this isn't going to get wet, it'll take the fire out of the golf course which might play into my hands a bit, it might make a few holes play a little bit longer.
"I wouldn't mind seeing a little bit of rain. I'm fine either way. I'm mentally preparing myself for it to be a firm and fast test this week. But if it rains a little bit it might make things a tad easier for me."
Eyes on top spot
The Northern Irishman goes into the tournament ranked sixth in the world and admits he would love to get back to world No 1, a position currently held by Australian Adam Scott.
McIlroy has spent a total of 39 weeks at the top of the world rankings, his longest stretch coming between August 2012 and March 2013.
"There's a lot of guys that have a chance to get to the top of the world rankings. There could a real tussle for that come the end of the summer," said the 25-year-old.
"Of course I've got a desire to get back to number one in the world. I've been there before, I know what it feels like and I want to get back there again.
"I'd love to get back to the point where I can seize control of that like I did at the end of 2012. Hopefully I'd handle it a little better and keep hold of it a little longer."