JOHNS CREEK, Georgia - U.S. Open winner Rory McIlroy could not wait to finish a disappointing PGA Championship on Sunday and head off to Cincinnati, where his friend Caroline Wozniacki, the top women’s tennis player, is playing in a tournament.
McIlroy came into the year’s final major as the bookmaker’s favourite but suffered a wrist injury on the third hole of his first round and never truly got into his stride at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
The Northern Irishman shot a four-over-par 74 on Sunday to end the tournament at 11-over-par overall.
“To be honest, I’m glad to be done,” said McIlroy. “It was a struggle. I basically played 70 holes of this tournament not at 100 percent, so it was always going to be tough.
“Still, some good play out there the last few days, birdied the last, so nice to come off with a positive each day.”
The 22-year-old had a ready-made excuse in the form of the strapped-up forearm that he has been forced to play with since Thursday but he said the injury had eased through the week.
“It’s fine,” McIlroy added. “To be honest, the swelling in the tendon went down. The pronator muscle is still a little sore, and going up into the medial ligament up into the inside of the elbow, so just a little bit of rest.
“I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks off, and you know, get rested up and get ready for the end of the season.”
McIlroy will fly to Cincinnati where Dane Wozniacki, with whom he has been romantically linked, is playing in the Masters series event.
“I’m actually going to go to Cincinnati for a few days. I hear it’s nice there this time of year,” McIlroy said with a grin.
Although the pair have been photographed together and Wozniacki has mentioned McIlroy frequently on twitter, neither has formally confirmed any romantic relationship.
McIlroy’s season will be remembered for his outstanding victory in the U.S. Open at Congressional in June and, despite his disappointments in the other three majors, he hopes to build on his victory.
“Looking back at the results, with the win, obviously the win was great but 15th at Augusta and 25th at the (British) Open and then 66th here, well the first half, the first 2-1/2 majors I was right in there,” he said.
“Just one bad day on the Saturday at the (British) Open really cost me. I feel comfortable in these events, and the win this year in the U.S. Open will give me a lot of confidence going into them next year again.”
McIlroy will re-join the U.S. PGA Tour next year and plans to squeeze in some house hunting in Florida before focusing on his preparations for the 2012 Masters.
“I’ll play the rest of the season and try and do well and try and finish up the (European Tour’s) Race to Dubai as high as possible,” he said.
“I’ll think about (the Masters) during Christmas and the off-season and try and get ready for it basically from January to April.”