When Rory McIlroy returns to action this week in Abu Dhabi, it will be the start of what is shaping up to be a busy 2018 for the 28-year-old Northern Irishman.
McIlroy will tee it up twice in the Middle East, beginning with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which starts Thursday, and continuing with the Omega Dubai Desert Classic the following week. After a week off, McIlroy will return to PGA Tour action, teeing it up in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Genesis Open and Honda Classic. He’ll skip the WGC-Mexico Championship, and then play the Valspar Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational and likely the WGC-Dell Match Play before taking a week off before the Masters.
“I might play more times this year than any before,” McIlroy told Telegraph Sport. “I played 28 times in 2008 and I’m on track to beat that. … I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I’m placed in the Race To Dubai. But I’ll see.”
McIlroy also revealed that he’ll return to the British Masters in October at Walton Health near London.
The desire to play a busy schedule comes just a year after a rib injury plagued McIlroy, who went winless and fell out of the top 10 in the world rankings last year. He took two extended breaks because of the injury. His start in Abu Dhabi will be his first since the Alfred Dunhill Links last October.
McIlroy said he feels ready to get back on the course.
“I’ve worked hard on my short game and I’m probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have,” McIlroy said. “I’ve had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road.”