Rory McIlroy is in fine form in America this year with ten consecutive top-10s since May on the PGA Tour, including fourth place in the season-ending Tour Championship.
But with the Ryder Cup looming at the end of September, the Northern Irishman insists he can’t wait to cross back over the Atlantic to play in the Horizon Irish Open , the BMW PGA Championship and then the Ryder Cup.
Europe got drubbed by USA two years ago at Whistling Straits by a record 19-9 but are unbeaten at home in the Ryder Cup since 1993 and McIlroy is relishing the countdown to the competition.
McIlroy, 34, who has played in six Ryder Cups, insisted: “I think we’re all excited. There’s a lot of us that were in that team at Whistling Straights and that didn’t feel very nice, didn’t feel good. So, yeah, I’m excited to get back over to Europe.
“We’re all sort of making our way over to Europe a couple weeks early. So it will be nice to all get together, get some early team dinners before the week in Rome and sort of really feel like that team chemistry is starting already.
“I think we’re all excited. We’re all, for the most part, playing really good. There’s still a few weeks to go but it’s the next big thing in all of our calendars.”
McIlroy was so dismayed by his performances and Europe’s thrashing in America last time out he was close to tears in his post-round interview after belatedly winning his first point in the singles.
But the four-time Major Champion heads to Marco Simone in Rome as one of Europe’s most experienced and accomplished Ryder Cup players.
He is in fine form along with FedExCup champion Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm, who won the Masters earlier this year. But none can rival McIlroy’s experience after four Ryder Cup wins from six appearances.
Since his debut in 2010, McIlroy has been part of every European side and has evolved into one of the leaders. The former World No.1 has played in 28 matches, winning 12, halving four and losing 12, with a total points tally of 14.