Published Thursday, 03 May 2012
Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki take time out to watch Ulster Rugby. (© Pacemaker)
Golf's former world number one turns just 23 on Friday and will be celebrating his birthday in North Carolina, where he's competing in the Wells Fargo Championship.
The tournament at the Quail Hollow course in Charlotte is only his second in eight weeks.
"I don't want to be burned out by the time I'm 30," McIlroy explained.
I'm trying to find the perfect balance between golf and having a normal life and everything else.
"I want to try and prolong my career as much as I can. I sometimes take a little bit too much out of myself, especially at the end of the season.
"Basically the most important time for me in the golf season is from the start of April until the end of August - that's when all the big tournaments are and that's when you want to play your best golf."
He added: "I know I've been criticised a little bit for not playing as much as some other guys leading into these few weeks, but I know I've got a big stretch coming up and I want to be as fresh as possible for this."
After Wells Fargo, McIlroy heads to Florida for the Players Championship at Sawgrass and then to Surrey in England a fortnight later for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
After that it's back to the US for the Memorial Tournament at the Muirfield Village course in Ohio, then McIlroy gets a week off before heading to San Francisco to defend his US Open title at the historic Olympic Club.
But golf isn't the only thing on his mind and making time to see girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki is also high on McIlroy's list of priorities.
"For me there's more to life than just golf - I don't know if people are surprised to hear that, but I have a lot more going on in my life than just golf.
"We both travel a lot and it's very important that you find time to do the things that you want to do."
Concentrating on his game at Wells Fargo could see the young star take back his world number one title from Luke Donald - but another former number one, Lee Westwood, is also chasing the top spot on the leaderboard.
© UTV News