Rory McIlroy is determined not to fall into the comfort zone as he looks to claim one of the few big titles so far missing from his glittering CV in the Players Championship.
As well as winning four major titles, McIlroy has won two World Golf Championship events and four FedEx Cup play-off tournaments, with his victory in last year’s Tour Championship giving him the overall title and USD 10million bonus.
Even that enormous sum pales into insignificance when compared with the Northern Irishman’s off-course earnings, which were this week boosted by a multi-million pound equipment deal with TaylorMade.
McIlroy also comes into the so-called ‘Fifth Major’ on the back of his recent wedding, but the 28-year-old - who is in his 10th full season as a professional - insists he still has the ambition to achieve much more in the game.
“It’s something I’ve struggled with a couple of times in my career,” McIlroy said in a pre-tournament press conference. “Once I got to world number one it’s like ‘Okay, what else?’ You do it all over again. And then you do it all over again.
“There’s a certain level of comfort that professional golfers have nowadays, because of the likes of the FedEx Cup, but I still don’t think that we lack the drive to become the golfers we wanted to be when we were kids.
“I still don’t feel like I’m halfway there to achieving what I want to achieve. I’m 28 years old. If I can play competitively for the next 15 years, I feel like I’ve still got a lot left to give.”
Asked if getting married would change his attitude, McIlroy added: “This game is what I’ve wanted to do for my whole life, so I’ll always be determined, I’ll always be intense and try to get the most out of my game.
“I don’t think that will change just because I’m married or not. My mentality on the golf course I feel will just be the same. It might help me get over tough losses a little bit easier.
“But I’m in a great place in my life and I feel very settled and very lucky to be in this position, and now it’s just about trying to make the most of the fortune I’ve had.”