The four-time major winner's recent interview with The Telegraph brought up some interesting points

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McIlroy: “I Don’t Fear Any Of Them. I’ve Beaten Them Before”

It’s been a quiet few months for former world number one Rory McIlroy, who has had a prolonged winter break after an injury-plagued 2017 season.

The four-time major winner made his final appearance of 2017 in October at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, a week after he matched his best result of the year with a runner-up finish to Paul Dunne at the British Masters.

McIlroy returns to the sport he’s dominated in years gone by at a lowly 11th in the world rankings which was his lowest in almost seven years.

He left the game in October at world number six, but has seen rivals such as Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Brooks Koepka all pass him.

However, Rory isn’t bothered – at least that’s what he told the Telegraph.

“I don’t care about the world rankings,” McIlroy said.

Rory McIlroy plays his second shot from the 18th fairway during a practice round ahead of Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

“I don’t feel I need to compare myself to anyone else, because I know what I can do. I’m not hung up on it. Maybe before, I had to win from the front. I just don’t feel that now. I don’t fear any of them. Any one of them. I’ve beaten them before.”

“I need to get back on that track and this year my goals are to add to my major tally and get back to world No. 1, winning more times than anyone else.

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“Let’s just say that between now and when I signed off last year, I feel way more optimistic, focused, motivated, purposeful. I know exactly what I can do.”

Now they’re positive words from a man who’s tasted major glory four times, won three Race to Dubai crowns, a FedEx Cup and 22 titles overall.

McIlroy is seeking to go beyond his tally of four major titles this year

The 28-year-old returns this week in Abu Dhabi ahead of a huge 2018, and if he’s as hungry as he sounds, he could reclaim his number one spot this year.

In April he will attempt to complete the career grand slam with victory at the Masters, yet could seal his fifth major championship at any one of the year’s big four.

A fifth major would put him on par with the likes of Phil Mickelson, James Braid, Seve Ballesteros and Byron Nelson. If he could wrap up two more he’d be level with Faldo and Trevino.

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