Rory McIlroy threw his 3-wood into the trees near the New Jersey Turnpike on the ninth tee at Liberty National Golf Course on Monday. He was frustrated with his shot and his play off the tee in the Northern Trust, but McIlroy said on Wednesday that he also is feeling fatigued mentally and physically.
He estimated that since returning to golf in June 2020 at the Charles Schwab Challenge, he has played in over 30 events. After he plays this week, potentially next week and in the Ryder Cup, he'll have participated in 34 tournaments in a 15-month span.
"This morning, I was tired. Look, we all had a long week last week as well, but just summoning up the effort to get out of bed and get to your 7:20 pro-am tee time, it took a little more effort today than it usually does," McIlroy said. "But yeah, just everything. It's a lot of golf. It's hard to feel fresh at this time in the season -- it all just sort of catches up with you."
McIlroy said that he has probably played more golf than he should have.
Playing in this week's BMW Championship after playing through Monday in the Northern Trust because of issues with rain delays, McIlroy said he spent all of 10 minutes at the airport and drove straight to Baltimore to stay on property for this week's tournament. He was asked his impression of the city and he didn't have much of a response, because he hasn't had the time to take it all in.
Part of that exhaustion is due to playing as much as he has but also to being a new father and trying to balance his work and parenting given how much traveling he has to do during the season.
"It's changed a lot. I want to spend a lot more time at home," McIlroy said. "I wanted to get home even in between these two events, so I flew down from New York, Monday night, so I could get a night in my own bed Monday, spend a few hours with [my daughter] yesterday -- a few hours with her and Erica (his wife) -- and then I flew up here yesterday afternoon. Yeah, any chance I get to go home, especially at this point in the season when we've been away so much, I'm going to take it."
McIlroy needs to manage his time and be more efficient than he ever has, especially this coming month with the Ryder Cup fast approaching.
He acknowledged feeling exhausted but has already planned out his schedule leading up to the match between Team Europe vs. the Americans on Sept. 24-26. After playing this week, then potentially next week at the Tour Championship, he'll take a two-week break to prepare for the Ryder Cup.
McIlroy sits at No. 28 in the FedEx Cup rankings, and only the top 30 make it into the Tour Championship. He'll need to play well this week at the BMW to ensure he doesn't have a longer break than anticipated.
"I sort of was planning to go over to Wentworth to play the BMW (a European Tour event on Sept. 9), but it's just too much travel, and with what's coming up with Ryder Cup, yeah, that's a long week," McIlroy said. "No matter if you're in Europe or the States, especially, I haven't missed a [Ryder Cup] session yet. So, say I play five sessions again, yeah, it's a really long week. So the two weeks off after the Tour Championship are going to be well needed, and I'll go in there nice and refreshed and ready to give it my all."