"Only getting fulfilment from lifting trophies isn't real life" - Rory McIlroy on balancing life and golf

The world number three also discussed completing a career Grand Slam, the Irish Open and friendship on tour on tonight's Off The Ball

BY Cian Roche 19:39 Friday 6 May 2016, 19:39 6 May 2016

Rory McIlroy returned to the scene of his first PGA Tour win for the Wells Fargo Championship this weekend and as he prepares for a busy schedule in the coming months, the Holywood golfer has had time to reflect on this year's Masters.

Augusta doesn't hold happy memories for the world number three, who endured a capitulation in 2010 worthy of Jordan Spieth's meltdown at the start of April. 

"I obviously performed quite well for three of the rounds, I shot three rounds under par" he told Off The Ball.

"But on Saturday, playing in the last round with Jordan I just wasn't with it. I think when you're under pressure like that and you're playing under pressure that brings out any weaknesses in your game and it certainly exposed that for me. 

"I went back to the drawing board with Michael Bannon and pinpointed a couple of things with my swing that I wasn't quite happy with... It's a work in progress, I've got a few big weeks coming up so we'll see how things go."

Danny Willett claimed this year's Green Jacket after the Spieth carded a quadruple bogey on the 12th to eradicate a lead he had held since the opening round.

"I couldn't believe it. I was on the 17th green whenever it happened and I was looking at the scoreboard and saw teat Westwood had eagled 15. Willett, who had taken the lead, go to five-under and saw Jordan drop from five-under to one-under.

"I didn't really know what happened, I went back in and saw the replay... You know, that's what Augusta can do to you. He got a bit flustered. The 12th hole was one of the most difficult holes all week because the wind swirls down in there. It's just a really tough hole under that sort of pressure. 

"I know how he feels, I've had my troubles around that end of the course in the past as well. I don't really feel sympathy for him. He's got two Majors, he's one of the best players in the world right now and I'm sure he'll overcome it like a lot of people have."

Augusta, it seems, will hang over McIlroy until he wins on the iconic course and complete an elusive career Grand Slam. However the 27-year-old knows that placing that sort of pressure on himself won't be conducive to a good performance. 

"For me going into Augusta, it has to be more about trying to win the Masters. It shouldn't be about trying to complete a career Grand Slam. I know they both go hand-in-hand but a lot of people have won Augusta, but not a lot have won a career Grand Slam.

"I need to put that talk to the side and focus on Augusta and if I do then obviously everything else will fall in place. When you try and achieve something that very few people in the game have it weighs on your mind a little. You need to try put things in place to stop your mind from wandering." 

While career achievements will quantify how successful he has been as a golfer, McIlroy insists that it is important to try and retain some normality in his life while on tour and when he's at home.

"Golf is very important to me, it's my career and I want to leave my mark on the game. At the same time, I know I won't play golf all my life. There's other things I need to have in my life to have that balance.

"We're all out here trying to be the best players we can be, but away from the course you need other interests. You need other things in your life that you get enjoyment from. If we only get fulfilment from lifting trophies and winning tournaments, it's not real life.

"You need other things in your life that makes you happy and I think I've struck a good balance."

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