Rory McIlroy secured the 20th PGA Tour victory of his career on Sunday with a one-shot win over Collin Morikawa at the CJ Cup in Last Vegas.
It is a long way from where the 32-year-old found himself three weeks ago following the Saturday of the Ryder Cup. McIlroy was dropped for the morning foursomes and then, along with Ian Poulter, lost 4&3 to Dustin Johnson and Morikawa in the evening fourballs. That night, McIlroy considered not playing again until next year, but his win in the Sunday singles against Xander Schauffele changed his mind.
"On the Saturday night of the Ryder Cup, I was done with golf," McIlroy said following Sunday's win in Las Vegas.
"I didn't want to see golf again until 2022. [That Sunday singles match] sparked a flame again, 'I think I maybe figured something out here. Let me play a few more times before the season is done'.
"I went out against Xander (Schauffele) and all I wanted to do was win the point. That's all I could do. I couldn't do anything else. I hadn't done much else the rest of the week.
"I won my point by doing whatever I could. I wasn't trying to be perfect. I wasn't trying to hit shots that I wasn't comfortable hitting.
"Part of the emotion at the end of it was to do with that week, but it was also to do with the last few months in terms of searching to get better, and the realisation that I don't need to search for anything, it's all right here."
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 18, 2021
McIlroy said that in the "last couple of weeks that I've realised that just being me is good enough".
"Maybe the last few months, I wasn't trying to be someone else, but maybe trying to add things to my game or take things away from my game," he continued.
"I know that when I do the things that I do well, this is what I'm capable of. I'm capable of winning a lot of events on the PGA Tour, and being the best player in the world.
"It's just a matter of me getting back to playing golf, and playing golf my way. That starts with being creative and visual, and maybe sifting through the technical thoughts, and not being as technical with it.
At age 32.5 ...
Phil Mickelson: 21 PGA Tour wins | 0 majors
Rory McIlroy: 20 PGA Tour wins | 4 majors
— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) October 17, 2021
"The last few months, I feel like I've never worked as hard, and didn't get what I wanted out of it. I just need to be a little better with what I practice and when I practice.
"The whole week leading up to this, all I did on the range was try to visualise every shot that I hit, try to see draws, see fades, see high, see low. The more I did that, the more it feels comfortable on the course doing that.
"That's playing golf, and getting back to hitting shots. Sometimes I forgot that in a quest to be too perfect. This week was a great reminder that you don't need to be perfect to be a great golfer."