Rory McIlroy speaks ahead of the first WGC event of the year

The Northern Irishman discussed the PGA Tour's first visit to The Concession Club, his recent form, and his admiration for a golfing great.

Rory McIlroy is hoping to ignite his season at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession this week.

The two-time FedExCup champion will be looking to bounce back from the disappointment of last week's Genesis Invitational when his missed cut ended a 25-event streak of playing all four rounds.

Featuring in a star-studded field, McIlroy will also be seeking to secure a first PGA TOUR victory since the WGC-HSBC Champions back in late-2019.

Alongside the upcoming golf in Florida, he also reacted to the news of Tiger Woods' serious accident.

Here's what the Northern Irishman had to say ahead of Thursday's first round.

On Tiger Woods:

"He's not Superman. He's a human being at the end of the day and he's already been through so much. At this stage, I think everyone should just be grateful that he's here, that he's alive, that his kids haven't lost their dad. That's the most important thing. Golf is so far from the equation right now, it's not even on the map at this point.

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at the 2018 Tour Championship.
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at the 2018 Tour Championship.

"I don't think people to this day realize the struggle and the things he had to deal with to get to that point to win Augusta in 2019. Right now, I can't think of any greater comeback in sports than the journey that he made from that lunch we had in 2017 to winning the Masters a couple years later."

On the incident at the 1969 Ryder Cup which inspired the name of the golf course

"It's part of golfing folklore, what happened. Obviously, it's a very sporting gesture from Jack (Nicklaus), whether it would happen in the Ryder Cup the way it is nowadays, I doubt it very much. Feels like there's a lot more on the line than there was back then."

On who'd be the most and least likely to concede a putt from the current crop of Americans

"Most likely, Webb Simpson. Least likely, Patrick Reed."

On his form

"I know the last two missed cuts I've had I went and played well (afterwards). I won in Canada and I bounced back after Portrush and got into the final group at a World Golf Championship.

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"I worked so hard the week before Riviera in that week off, but I felt so unprepared to play. I have these weeks where I want to work on some things and fix some things and I try to cram everything in in the space of a week when it's probably something that should take two or three months to iron out. I went to Riviera after feeling like I worked hard but was completely unprepared because I had sort of neglected sort of all other aspects of the game."

On his preparation for this week

"I think I learned a couple of things last week. I was thinking way too much about the golf swing, even when I was out on the course. I probably spent five to 10 seconds over the ball longer than I usually do.

"It doesn't need to be perfect, and I realise that, but you just want your bad shots, your bad swings, to not be destructive and over the past few weeks those bad swings have just been a little too destructive and put me in some bad positions. So, I need to play with more freedom, and I need to be able to swing away."

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