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McIlroy looks to lighten his load in bid to prolong career

“I don’t want to be burned out by the time I’m 30,” said the US Open champion as he prepares at Quail Hollow this week .

Rory McIlroy at Quail Hollow yesterday.
Rory McIlroy at Quail Hollow yesterday.
Image: Chuck Burton/AP/Press Association Images

US OPEN CHAMPION Rory McIlroy has decided to limit his playing schedule this year in a bid to prolong his career.

The 22-year-old world number two plans to compete in roughly 23 events during 2012 — seven less than last season.

“I don’t want to be burned out by the time I’m 30. I want to try and prolong my career as much as I can,” McIlroy said. ”I sometimes take a little bit too much out of myself, especially at the end of the season. The most important time for me in the golf season is from the start of April until the end of August. That’s when all the big tournaments are, and that’s when you want to play your best golf.”

McIlroy is at Quail Hollow Club this week preparing for the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina — only his second tournament in the past two months.

“All the stuff either side of that (April through August) is more preparation work and making sure that your game is getting ready and your body is physically ready for that time of the year,” he said.

“I’ve got a busy stretch coming up now… here, Players (Championship), back at Wentworth (England), Memorial (tournament), US Open. I want to play good here and try and build up to the US Open. That’s the next big target for me.

“I know I’ve been criticised a little bit for not playing as much as some other guys leading into these few weeks, but I know I’ve got a big stretch coming up, and I want to be as fresh as possible for this.”

McIlroy won the Wells Fargo event in 2010 with a final-round 62 — his first victory on the PGA Tour. He is grouped with 2003 champion David Toms and 2006 winner Jim Furyk.

“It’s always nice to come back to somewhere where you’ve had success. I’ve got great memories of this course,” he said. ”I’m looking forward to just to get back out on the course. I’ve had three weeks off, and it feels good to be back, and I’m looking forward to this run that I’ve got coming up.”

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