Rory McIlroy puts aside management split to revive faltering season


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The Independent Online

Rory McIlroy was grateful for the distraction. His own drama, centred on a split with his management team, had threatened to attract all the headlines before the racism controversy engulfed Sergio Garcia.

Free to concentrate on his game, McIlroy is targeting a first victory of the season when the BMW PGA Championship begins today.

"Everyone knows it has been a slow start to the season for me but I feel the last few weeks have been really good, the best it's been for a long time tee to green," he said. "It's just a matter of holing a few more putts. If I can do that and get into contention, sooner or later I'll walk through that door and get the first win of the season."

McIlroy comes to Wentworth on the back of two top-10 finishes at Quail Hollow and Sawgrass. Last year he followed a missed cut at the Players Championship with a second in succession here to fall into a mid-season crisis during which he admitted that he had taken his "eye off the ball". Not now.

"The No 1 priority is getting my game as good as it can be. There is a big summer of golf coming up, Memorial next week, building up to the US Open and then it's not long to the Open Championship. It's a time in the season when you have to knuckle down and play some good golf. I'm determined to do that after the start to the season I've had."

McIlroy opens alongside last week's Matchplay winner Graeme McDowell, with whom relations have suffered recently as he seeks a way out of the management company they share. When asked about the situation on Tuesday, McIlroy said: "Go ask G-Mac. He knows more than me."

However, 24 hours on, all appeared to have been resolved. "I know what I said yesterday and I guess at the time I meant that but it is what it is and it's water under the bridge and away we go," he added.

"I spoke to Graeme yesterday afternoon. We got back to the hotel and we just had a chat. He's been a real big brother to me on tour. It's all good."