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Rory McIlroy reveals British Open-winning ‘trigger words’

Rory McIlroy chants two simple mantras on his way to his first British Open title.

Andrew Redington

Rory McIlroy, your newly crowned 2014 British Open champion, proved Sunday that the fewer pre-shot thoughts a golfer has to consider, the better.

"They’re very simple. I just kept telling myself two words," McIlroy told ESPN about the couple of "trigger words" he used as mantras all week to help him maintain his inner peace.

Those words, for all you weekend warriors with a bazillion swing thoughts blasting through your head as you hover over every single shot for what seems like hours to your playing partners, were "process" and "spot," McIlroy revealed, as promised, after fending off a surging Sergio Garcia for his first claret jug and third leg of the career grand slam.

"Process, which is just ‘focus on my process’ and 'focus on don’t care about the result, just really get into the process,’" McIlroy said. "And spot -- for my putting: ‘just pick your spot, roll it over your spot,’ and that was it, 'process and spot.'

"There were only two words that I really had in my head for the four days," stated McIlroy, in what one could perceive as a massive understatement, "and they seemed to work pretty well."

As for what the win meant to McIlroy, who has experienced a great deal of upheaval over the past year and a half, including changing his golf clubs, management team and girlfriend, the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland teared up as he related the importance of Sunday’s victory.

"It means an awful lot," he said with emotion. "This is the first major championship my mum’s been at when I’ve won and to be able to see her on the back of the 18th was -- it was really nice to be able to share a moment like this with them."

McIlroy referred to the goings-on, inside and outside the ropes, and observed that it was all worth it.

"It’s a big moment. I feel like I’ve come a long way in the past 18 months, a lot’s happened to me, on and off the golf course," he said. "Just my determination and hard work has really paid off."