McIlroy: I can still improve

Updated 14 November 2012
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McIlroy: I can still improve

HONG KONG: He may be world No. 1 and top of the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic, but Rory McIlroy said yesterday that he wants to play even better next year.
The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland, who has two Major titles under his belt, has enjoyed a stellar season. It culminated in him winning The Race to Dubai at the weekend after he finished third at the Singapore Open.
He had already clinched the PGA Tour money race, becoming only the second man after Luke Donald to win both the European and PGA money titles. He was also part of the European Ryder Cup team that snatched victory at the death.
But speaking ahead of the UBS Hong Kong Open, one of his favorite tournaments, defending champion McIlroy said: “I just want to keep improving as a player.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to overhaul your game in any way, but just keep making improvements on different aspects of the game, whether it be your bunker play or your chipping from semi-rough or anything like that.
“There’s always different aspects to your game you can improve and I’ll keep trying to do that, obviously. I feel like I’ve gradually progressed and gradually improved every year. That’s something I still want to do going into 2013.”
McIlroy has ultimately set his sights on Colin Montgomerie’s eight European merit wins, and even Jack Nicklaus’s 18 Majors. But he declined to set any firm goals for next year.
“You pick these awards up at the end of the year and it’s always a nice honor, it is always very special. But looking forward to next year, I just want to keep improving and try to become a better golfer,” he said.
“If I can do that, then more tournaments and more Majors will come. I’m not naming any goals or targets like that, I just want to keep trying to improve and keep trying to get better.” The Hong Kong Open tees off tomorrow.
Meantime, Matt Kuchar insisted yesterday that he has moved on from the United States’ devastating Ryder Cup defeat, as he strives to banish the painful memories of Medinah with victory in Hong Kong.
Kuchar went down to Lee Westwood 3 and 2 in their Ryder Cup singles match, a loss which contributed to the hosts’ last-day capitulation as Europe roared back on the final day to retain the trophy in September. The 34-year-old American is ranked 17th in the world and won The Players Championship in May. “Every week you start off from scratch,” he said. “No matter what you do the week before, the week before doesn’t matter.
“The Ryder Cup was six weeks ago or thereabouts, and I’ve played a number of events since and I’ve been able to move on.
“It was an amazing event. The Ryder Cup was, and seems to be every year, just a fantastic event. This year was again just amazing.
“The US team was on the losing side but if you look at it from a greater perspective, it’s one of those things that continues to attract fans to the game of golf. The nature of the sport and of us is such that you learn to move on.”


Manchester United inflict more semifinal misery on sorry Spurs

Updated 21 April 2018
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Manchester United inflict more semifinal misery on sorry Spurs

  • Manchester United come from behind to make FA Cup final.
  • Mauricio Pochettino yet to win a trophy as manager.

A third cup final with Manchester United for Jose Mourinho. More FA Cup semifinal misery for Tottenham.
While Mauricio Pochettino wins admiration for his style of football, the manager has yet to actually win a trophy in management.
A 2-1 collapse to United at Wembley Stadium on Saturday left Tottenham reeling from an eighth successive loss in the FA Cup semifinals.
Pochettino is responsible for two of the setbacks, having also fallen short against Chelsea last season.
At the stadium where Tottenham have been playing their home matches this season, Dele Alli's goal gave the 1991 FA Cup winners hope of turning around their miserable record in world football's oldest knockout competition.
But Alexis Sanchez leveled in the 24th minute and Ander Herrera struck the winner in the second half. It ensured Mourinho, who won the League Cup and Europa League in his first season at United, has a chance to also end this campaign with silverware against Chelsea or Southampton in the FA Cup final.
"We're getting used to being in finals," Herrera said. "This club is all about titles and finals."
While Mourinho has fallen short in the English Premier League behind newly crowned champion Manchester City, United are second and on course for their highest finish since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
Tottenham would settle with holding onto fourth place to secure a third season in a row in the Champions League.
Liverpool missed a chance to considerably stretch its advantage over Tottenham in one of Saturday's two league games. Juergen Klopp's side threw away a two-goal lead to draw with last-place West Bromwich Albion 2-2 and move only three points ahead of Tottenham.
Chelsea, who plays Southampton in the other FA Cup semifinal on Sunday, are five points behind Tottenham with four games remaining.

POGBA TRANSFORMED
When United fell behind to Tottenham, Paul Pogba was culpable.
A high ball was launched forward by Tottenham, a lethargic Pogba didn't try to break sweat in an attempt to prevent it reaching Eriksen. It allowed the Dane to whip in a cross for Alli to slide onto at the far post and strike past David De Gea in 11th minute
Had Harry Kane made a connection at the far post with Son Heung-min's cross three minutes later, Tottenham might have extended their lead.
Instead, United were able to draw level. Pogba made amends for his earlier inertia by dispossessing Mousa Dembele and delivering a cross that Sanchez headed past static goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Sanchez did the hard work to create the winner in the 62nd, holding off Kieran Trippier and rolling the ball into the penalty area where Jesse Lingard teed up Herrera to shoot past Vorm.