McIlroy: “I don’t plan to be playing tournament golf in my forties.”
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Rory looking to add to his trophy case in '12

Thanks to Shoshana for passing along one of the various end-of-the-year articles on 22-year-old Rory McIlroy. This one, penned by the Irish Independent’s Dermot Gilleece, reveals an interesting quote from the U.S. Open champ about his playing career:

Like when he explained why he had no plans to buy his own aircraft. “You’ve got to fly 300 hours a year to make financial sense of it,” he said. Then, when I pointed out that Pádraig Harrington made such a purchase in the belief it would extend his playing career, McIlroy replied: “I don’t plan to be playing tournament golf in my forties.”

Surprising and not so surprising (both about the plane and not playing in his 40s). Let’s not make too much of it, though. After all, there’s plenty of time for him to change his mind. Say he’s won 17 majors (or one short of the record if Tiger ends up passing Jack Nicklaus) just before his 40th birthday, will he keep competing in quest of the 18th?

McIlroy also discusses that his mind is focused on the upcoming year’s majors, starting with the Masters, of course. He’s learned from some of his mistakes in 2011. For example, he’ll share a house with his parents instead of with his pals from Northern Ireland — probably a good idea, not just for the emotional support his mom and dad will provide, but much less chance for distractions.

Meanwhile, Rory told Brian Keogh of the Irish Golf Desk that his Masters meltdown might have triggered his decision to ultimately switch management companies this fall, leaving ISM’s Chubby Chandler for the smaller, Dublin-based firm, Horizon:

He even concedes that his public humiliation may have played a part in his ditching of manager Chubby Chandler for Dublin based Horizon and a move to make more decisions for himself.

He said: “It might have set the wheels in motion in some way. I was getting advice from left, right and centre after the Masters. From people I was close to and from people that just wanted to offer some sort of help.

“I really had to filter everything through and try and make decisions myself. Sometimes I felt I let people make decisions for me instead of taking my career into my own hands and deciding this is what I want to do, this is where I want to go. That day at the Masters helped me do that.

“I think the biggest thing was listening to myself. You can take so much advice from so many different people. Actually listening to your own (inner voice). I said after the Masters I was very honest with myself and I needed to do some things with my golf game.

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)