(Reuters) - Rory McIlroy has set his sights on finishing a so-so season on a strong note as he prepares this week for The Barclays, the first of four FedExCup events that conclude the 2015-16 U.S. PGA Tour.
Though the world number five clinched an emotional victory at the Irish Open in May, his first triumph in his national open, he has failed to win on the PGA Tour despite several close calls and missed the cut in two of the four majors.
“I’m trying to judge my year on wins,” McIlroy told reporters on Wednesday at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York. “There’s been one of those (at the Irish Open), which was a very emotional win and something that meant a lot to me.
“But in the bigger scheme of our overall golf year, it wasn’t a big win. It wasn’t a major; it wasn’t a World Golf Championship.
“The weeks that I have played well, I’ve been solid. Obviously the two missed cuts at the majors were very disappointing, especially the way I missed the cuts.”
The Northern Irishman missed the cut by two strokes at the U.S. Open in June and by just one shot at the PGA Championship last month.
“I should have played the weekend in both of them, and I sort of threw it away,” said McIlroy.
“It hasn’t been the year that I wanted, but I still feel like there’s enough golf left this year to salvage it and call it somewhat of a successful season.”
McIlroy has not competed in nearly a month, following his missed cut in the PGA Championship at Baltusrol, but he feels refreshed after his lengthy break.
“It’s been a good three weeks,” said the 27-year-old, a four-times major winner. “Leaving Baltusrol, obviously I was very disappointed, and I needed to think about a few things.
“I think I was number one in strokes gained off the tee at Baltusrol, but I was near dead last in putting, so obviously that was something I needed to address.
“I got into some really bad habits, and it will take a while to iron those fully out and get out of them. But I feel like I’ve made a good start with that.”
McIlroy is 36th in the FedExCup standings going into Thursday’s opening round at The Barclays and hopes to climb higher this week at a venue he has always enjoyed.
“It’s a course that sets up well for me,” he said. “It should be right up my alley. A good week this week ... that’s what the playoffs are about. It sort of gives everyone that’s inside that top 125 a chance to progress and move on.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Larry Fine