Rory McIlroy has learned valuable lessons from what has proved a difficult year
Rory McIlroy insists he has learnt valuable lessons after what has proved a difficult year on and off the course.
Last Updated: 15/10/13 4:17pm
Having won the money-list title on both sides of the Atlantic last season on the way to establishing himself as the world's undisputed No.1, the 24-year-old has found success markedly more difficult to come across in 2013.
McIlroy has managed just one top-5 finish all season and has slipped down to sixth in the latest world rankings.
Many blamed his high-profile switch to Nike equipment over the off season as the reason for his travails, but the Northern Irishman is adamant the problems were down to him, rather than his clubs.
Asked if his poor form was caused by mechanical or mental issues, McIlroy told reporters ahead of this week's Korea Open: "I think it was a little bit of both.
"Mechanically my golf swing... I fell into a couple of bad habits and I was trying to work myself out of it. It affects mental issues as well.
"Golf is a game of confidence and if you are confident it allows you to play better and freer... with a free mind. It definitely had nothing to do with equipment. It had more to do with how I swing."
McIlroy also admitted he had made mistakes with his schedule this year, but added he was still confident of finishing his season on a high with a run of lucrative events coming up.
"I learned a lot this year," he continued. "I was under-golfed for the first three to four months. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably have played more at the start of this year, just to play my way into the season a little better.
"This is the first year that I struggled as a pro. It's the first year I didn't live up to my expectations. Coming off the back of such a good year 2012, it's always tough to emulate that.
"This year is a little bit of a disappointment, but I've still got six tournaments left this year to finish the year strongly and get some momentum for 2014.
"I've had four weeks off and it's nice to get back into some tournament play. It'd be good to start this week with a good performance. Obviously, it'd be great to win."
However, McIlroy was rather more circumspect when asked about widespread reports of a split from his tennis player girlfriend Wozniacki.
The Dane has come out to deny the rumours, but McIlroy would not be drawn on the subject, adding simply: "My private life is private and I would like to keep it that way."