• Korea Open

I learned a lot this year - McIlroy

ESPN staff
October 15, 2013
'McIlroy must win'

Rory McIlroy insists he has learnt valuable lessons in a miserable year that has seen him earn just five top-10 finishes and fall from world No. 1 down to sixth.

As he embarks on four weeks in Asia, which is expected to earn him around £3 million in appearance fees alone, McIlroy also remained tight-lipped on his rumoured split from girlfriend of two years, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

Having become just the second player in history to win the money list title on both the PGA and European Tours in 2012, McIlroy has endured a poor run of form this season, on which critics have blamed everything from his high-profile switch to Nike equipment, problems with his management company and his relationship with Dane Wozniacki.

And asked ahead of this week's Korea Open if his poor form was due to mental or mechanical issues, McIlroy claimed it was a bit of both.

"I fell into a couple of bad habits and I was trying to work myself out of it," he said.

"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, and with a free mind. It's definitely nothing to do with equipment.

"I learned a lot this year. I was under-golfed for the first three to four months. It's the first year I struggled and I didn't live up to the expectation.

"This year is a little bit of a disappointment, but I have six tournaments left and will finish the season strongly."

But when asked about the rumoured split with Wozniacki, the 24-year-old refused to be drawn on the subject.

"My private life is private and I would like to keep it that way," he added.

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