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Rory McIlroy in 'a really good frame of mind' ahead of 2014 season opener

The world number claims to have solved the issues he had both on and off the course in 2013.

McIlroy is in focused form at the start of the season.
McIlroy is in focused form at the start of the season.
Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

FORMER WORLD NUMBER one Rory McIlroy starts his season at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship this week, confident 2014 will be his best ever year.

That won’t be such a tough task for current world number seven McIlroy, whose struggles in 2013 are well documented with troubles on and off the golf course, including those at the Open in Muirfield.

It was with much fanfare in that venue exactly one year ago that McIlroy was announced as a Nike ambassador following a world record sponsorship contract.

But the 24-year-old went on to miss the cut that week, and then did not win any tournament for 11 months before closing the season with a superb come-from-behind win over Adam Scott at the Australian Open.

McIlroy, who got engaged to girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki over the New Year, said all the things happening around him last year caused “instability” in his life, but he is in a “good frame of mind” and looking forward to 2014.

I’m really looking forward it. I feel like I’m much better prepared heading into the first event of the season than I was last year. The swing is in a much better place. I’ve done some really good work on that, the end of last year, and just in the couple of weeks that I’ve had here leading into this tournament,” said McIlroy.

“There was just loads of stuff going on around me and that didn’t let me focus 100 per cent on what I needed to do which was to try to play the best that I could.

“This year is polar opposite. Things are really looking good. I’m in a really good frame of mind. Everything seems to have just fallen into place nicely, and I can just go out there and focus on my golf and try and play it as well as I can.”

- © AFP, 2014

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