May 18, 2015 / 4:33 AM / 4 years ago

McIlroy allays burnout fears over heavy playing schedule

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy may be battling fatigue when he continues his five-week trans-Atlantic playing schedule in Europe over the next fortnight but the world number one has shrugged off any talk of burnout ahead of next month’s U.S. Open.

Rory McIlroy hits his approach shot to number nine during third round play at Quail Hollow Club. Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

After his runaway seven-stroke victory at the Wells Fargo Classic on the PGA Tour on Sunday, McIlroy plans to get as much rest as possible before he starts the defense of his BMW PGA Championship title this coming week.

“I’m going to try to get a lot of sleep between now and teeing it up on Thursday at Wentworth,” the Briton told reporters before jumping on a private jet for an overnight flight to London for the European Tour’s flagship event.

McIlroy will also contest the Irish Open, before taking two weeks off prior to the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in Washington State.

The 26-year-old has never seen the course but scoffed at a recent statement by U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis that only a couple of practice rounds were required to have a chance of winning.

“What’s Mike Davis’s handicap?” McIlroy asked Reuters when informed of the official’s comment.

“I’m going to go up a little early... so I’ll probably play three practice rounds. It’s a bit of an unknown, so you have to prepare, but I think you can fall into the trap of trying to over prepare.

“If you don’t go out and execute, all that preparation doesn’t mean anything, so I’d rather have my game in good shape going in there and play practice rounds the way I usually would. I think that will do well for me.”

If McIlroy continues to play as well as he did in Charlotte, he will be tough to beat no matter how well or otherwise he knows the course.

He used a magnificent display of long and accurate driving to plunder Quail Hollow and shatter the tournament record by five shots with his 21-under-par 267 total.

When McIlroy is on his game, he can demolish a course like nobody else. He can work the ball either way with his driver, and he hits it so far that almost every par-five is reachable in two shots.

Asked whether he was surprised to shoot 21-under, he said: “It’s out there if you don’t make many mistakes.

“Realistically, with someone my length off the tee, you should be making six birdies out there — the four par-fives and two drivable par-fours. That’s six birdies a day, 24-under.”

Editing by John O'Brien

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