Published Wednesday, 19 December 2012
McIlroy with his US PGA trophy in South Carolina earlier this year. (© Getty)
The US PGA champion has never won the Irish Open but he's aiming to add his name to the list of golfing greats that have when the tournament comes to Co Kildare next summer.
"I guess the Irish Open for me is very special because it is my home event and I think that the history that the Irish Open as well," he said.
"Such a great list of champions from Nick Faldo to Bernard Langer, so many European greats that have won that tournament and I think that is what makes it so special, it is the history."
Huge crowds turned out to watch the Irish Open at Royal Portrush earlier this year but McIlroy says the atmosphere generated by the home crowd can add to the pressure.
He continued: "It is tough to play in front of your own crowd sometimes, it brings its own pressures. You want to do well for them and they live and breathe every shot with you and when you make a bogie, there is 'ahhhh', when you make a birdie it's ... you know!
"It is tough sometimes not to try too hard. I am hopefully going to win, not just one Northern Irish open but a few Irish opens in my career."
Next year's Irish Open takes place from 27 to 30 June at Carlton House.
© UTV News