After treating a high-profile, high-stakes tete-a-tete with Tiger Woods like a lowly round of golf with the guys, it was not surprising to learn that Rory McIlroy was “ready to be done” with the 2012 season.
McIlroy, who this year secured his second major championship and helped his European mates stun the U.S. in a come-from-behind Ryder Cup victory, has played 16 PGA Tour events (plus four official contests on the European Tour) since January, not including the Ryder Cup. He’s slated for four more Euro Tour (or Race to Dubai) tilts, as well as a one-on-one exhibition with Woods at the end of the month.
That, said the two-time major champ, was just too much golf -- even for a 23-year-old who will likely take home the money titles from both tours, as Luke Donald did in 2011. Woods’ curly-headed younger rival also has a life beyond the links and would like more time to play the dutiful boyfriend to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, whom he’ll watch serve it up this week at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, according to ESPN UK.
"I would just love to cut my schedule back even further and I think next year I will cut it down again to a max play of 22 or 23," McIlroy told ESPN UK on Monday. "I still have got some big events left and I would love to win the Race to Dubai and repeat what Luke did also winning the money list on the PGA Tour, so I am going to give it one last push.
"It has been a great season and I am ready to be done,” said McIlroy, who admitted during his winless turn in Turkey last week, which included a six-shot loss to Woods, that he cared more about beach time with his honey than giving his all at the World Golf Final. “It is just such a long season these days. But then I feel I have got an obligation to play some of these big events leading up to Dubai."
McIlroy said earlier this year that it was mental weariness more than the physical wear and tear that came from playing so much golf, especially toward the end of a campaign.
“It's a long year, and physically it's fine,” he told reporters during the Deutsche Bank Championship over Labor Day weekend. “You can play golf and you can travel and everything. But mentally and emotionally is where you get fatigued, I feel, and that's something you just have to be careful of and wary of and really know yourself and know when you feel burned out and you need to take a break."
McIlroy added Monday that he would rouse himself for the remaining tournaments on his dance card -- especially if it meant taking home the Euro money title.
“I won't find it tough to get myself up for my last events as I want to especially win the Race to Dubai after coming close a few times,” McIlroy said.