(Reuters) - Former world number one Rory McIlroy is hoping he can channel memories of his 2014 victory at Wentworth to inspire him at this week’s BMW PGA Championship and beyond.
McIlroy, who returns to the European Tour’s flagship event for the first time since 2015, fired a six-under-par 66 in the final round to score a fairytale win four years ago, but missed the cut a year later before skipping the next two editions.
“Four years ago seems like a long time ago,” the Northern Irishman told reporters on Wednesday. “A lot has happened since then, but I still remember the final round... and hopefully I can draw on those memories this week.”
The 29-year-old followed up his 2014 victory by winning the British Open, PGA Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and ended up being named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year.
“I guess all you need is that spark or that catalyst,” he added. “I felt like my game was trending in the right direction in 2014 but didn’t quite have the win. On that Sunday, I was seven shots back going into the last day.
“I didn’t expect to win. I just wanted to go out and play a good final round. It did snowball from there and I got on to a nice little bit of a hot streak, and I’d love to be able to do something like that again.
“I’ve got a busy summer coming up... three major championships and Ryder Cup, and everything else. So maybe this could be the spark that gets that all going again.”
McIlroy has not had it all his own way at Wentworth in the past, missing the cut on several occasions, and the course has undergone a multi-million pound revamp since his last appearance.
“It’s a course where if you’re not quite on, you can get frustrated easily and sort of let it go from there,” he said.
“I’ve had my fair share of bad play here but I still feel like I’ve played well enough to have some good memories and draw on some good experiences.
“It’s a bit of a new course, especially for me and some of the other guys over the last couple years. I think if I can hit the ball the way I know that I can and control my shots into these greens, I’ll have a chance.”
Reporting by Simon Jennings, editing by Pritha Sarkar