Rory McIlroy prepares for new season in Dubai

Four-time Major champion to start the season in Abu Dhabi later this month
Rory McIlroy teeing off at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai.
By Staff writer
Sun 07 Jan 2018 12:11 PM

Four-time Major champion Rory McIlory got his preparations underway for the new season with a round of golf at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai.

The former world number one, who slipped to tenth in the rankings following an injury-hit and trophyless year in 2017, is looking to get 2018 off to a positive start at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on Thursday January 18.

McIlory posted a video on Instagram, showing him teeing off at Emirates Golf Club, where he will play in the upcoming Dubai Desert Classic on January 25.

A post shared by RORY (@rorymcilroy) on

His immediate goal for the season arrives at the Masters in April, when he will attempt to become only the sixth player to complete the career Grand Slam of all four Major titles.

Also on his career list is overhauling Nick Faldo to become the most successful European golfer ever and - perhaps most ambitious of all - he wants to surpass South African great Gary Player's haul of nine Majors that make him the leading "international" golfer of all time.

"The Grand Slam is the next reasonable goal on the agenda and then my goal is to become the best European Tour golfer ever and try and surpass Nick Faldo in that," said McIlroy.

"Then, and if had a career goal, it would be the best international golfer ever as Gary Player has nine Majors so I would like to think I can get close to that tally.

"Clearly, the Americans have dominated the world of golf for the last 100 years with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger (Woods) and Walter Hagen and all those guys but the next big goal is winning the Masters for the Grand Slam and then becoming the best European ever."

The Northern Irishman has won 13 European Tour titles but is still 17 wins shy of Nick Faldo's mark (Faldo won six Majors) and needs to win six more Majors to surpass Player.

McIlroy, 28, has seen younger rivals such as Jordan Spieth, who has three Majors to his name - steal the limelight since he won the 2014 PGA Championship.

"I just feel with the experience I have now, I'm definitely a better player I feel than the player that won some of those tournaments and some of those Majors," said McIlory.

"I see no reason why I can't better that in the next 10 years and that's why I feel like these three months are very important for me to put some really good things in place and step away and just reassess everything and reassess where I'm at and where I need to be.

"Also, the landscape of the game has changed a bit since I started to win Majors. You've got young, hungry guys now that are fearless, basically, and they are playing the game how I basically came out and played a few years ago.

"It's just about trying to gain an advantage here or there, so just reassessing everything and making sure I'm sort of not leaving any stone unturned and do everything I can to get back to the best player in the world."

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