Rory McIlroy was back in action this week at the CJ Cup and unsurprisingly he was asked about his emotional reaction following his singles win over Xander Schauffele. McIlroy never got past the 15th in three losses over the first couple of days, as well as being benched for the first time in the Saturday foursomes, before leading Europe off on the Sunday and posting his first point.
Then came the tears in what was a pretty raw post-match interview.
“I don't necessarily get emotional about golf, so I guess in that way it surprised me,” said McIlroy. “I think it was a good thing for me, I think maybe I realised a couple of things about myself that I hadn't known, or maybe I had known but I was trying to keep down and not let them out.
“I was surprised at how emotional I got, but after a little bit of reflection over the last couple of weeks, I sort of realised why I did get that way.”
As for his best form and where it’s gone he did offer plenty of signs that his inner confidence is still there despite the lack of results over the past 18 months.
"I think when I play my best, I'm the best player in the world. I haven't played like that for a while, but I don't feel like I have to go that far back to whenever the pandemic hit, I was number one in the world.
"Obviously the last 18 months haven't been what I've wanted them to be, but if you keep it in perspective, I'm not that far away. And there's a ton of great players now that play obviously really, really good golf. I feel like the talent pool is just getting deeper and deeper every year so you have to strive to keep trying to get better to stay where you want to stay.”