(Reuters) - Rory McIlroy is keen to regain the carefree mentality from his youth and take more risks as he prepares to challenge for his first major title since 2014 at this month’s British Open.
McIlroy won the last of his four major titles at the PGA Championship in 2014 and his efforts to win a fifth this year have been underwhelming with the 29-year-old having a disastrous final round at the Masters and failing to make the cut at the U.S Open.
The Northern Irishman says his mentality rather than physical form has been to blame for his recent struggles on the course.
“I think as you get older, it’s natural instinct to become a little more careful,” McIlroy told reporters.
“You take way more risks when you’re a teenager... I just need to get back to playing the game like I was a teenager. Not be careful, not try to be too perfect. Not try to control things that you can’t control. Just go out and play your game.
“That’s the one thing that I need to do better and it’s more a mental thing rather than anything physical or anything. I just have to approach it better mentally.”
McIlroy wants to add to his major tally but is not fixated on the goal as he focuses on the bigger picture.
“Look, if I didn’t win another major for the rest of my career, nothing is going to change in my life whether I win one or not,” he added.
“But obviously I wouldn’t feel like I’ll have fulfilled my potential... I’d be disappointed but again, it’s not going to change things. I don’t panic. It doesn’t keep me up at night.
“I’ve got two more chances this year to hopefully play myself into contention. That was my goal... to give myself a chance and to put myself in positions to see how I fare.”
McIlroy will warm up for the penultimate major of the year at the Irish Open, which starts later on Wednesday.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty