McIlroy: Singapore win would be "great"

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy promises to show why he is the planet's best golfer when he steps up to the tee at the Barclays Singapore Open which begins on Thursday.

Golf News: Rory McIlroy

McIlroy's last visit to the Lion City was in 2008 where he finished in fourth place at the Sentosa Golf Club.

Four years later, the 24-year-old is back with the world number one title, two Major wins at the US Open in 2011 and PGA Championship in 2012 as well as two other victories on the European Tour.

"I've achieved all the goals I wanted to this year, I wanted to win a Major, I wanted to get to world number one, win a few tournaments around the world. The season is not over yet, there's another three tournaments left and it would be great to get another win or two before the season's finished," said McIlroy.

"It's been a very successful year. Winning my first Major championship in 2011 was a huge milestone, a huge stepping stone in my career and I want to follow up next season with another Major championship," added McIlroy.

As he chases another victory at the Barclays Singapore Open this week, McIlroy believes he can only get better and continue to be the force to be reckoned with in the world of golf.

"It has been a great year, if I can just keep doing the same things and just try and become better at certain aspects of the game, that's what I need to do to just keep progressing and get better year by year, I've done that every year since I turned pro. Hopefully I can still keep that progression going," said McIlroy.

Standing in McIlroy's way of another grandstand finish in Singapore will be four-time Major winner Phil Mickelson of the United States who has competed in the last five Barclays Singapore Opens with his best finish coming in 2008 when he came in ninth.

The American claimed his 40th PGA Tour win at Pebble Beach but has been enduring an indifferent form since that victory.

A return back to the drawing board for Mickelson proved to be the key where he is now confident that he can contend at the Singapore showpiece this week.

"I've had really tough three or four months when I played some of my worst golf in my career. It's turning out to be one of the best things that have happened for me because it forced me to analyse my game and dissect it and put each part back," said Mickelson.

"I had to start with my iron and get that to where I was hitting the ball with the right distance, trajectory and spin rate. And then I had to move on to my chipping, putting, fairway woods and to my driver. I've had to piece my game back and now since the PGA, I've played better golf every single week," added Mickelson.

With the hot and humid weather playing a key factor this week, Mickelson expects a tough battle at the Serapong course at Sentosa Golf Club.

"It is one of the more difficult courses in Serapong. There are more difficult holes on this course than a lot of courses we play," said Mickelson.

The American however believes he can overcome the testing conditions and sign off his year with a win.

"As for the humidity, I like the warmth. I feel like it gets your muscles looser to swing the club easier. When it is hot, the ball does not have the same resistance in the air, so it flies a lot straighter and easily a lot longer. I've learned to stay in the shade and drink a little extra water to hydrate, so it shouldn't be a factor," said Mickelson.

This year marks the 49th staging of the Singapore Open which will be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

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