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Rory McIlroy admits that he is still as eager as ever to win tournaments as he prepares for this week’s BMW Masters in Shanghai.
The 24-year-old has endured a moderate season by his own high standards and has yet to taste victory anywhere in the world.
A change of clubs last winter was initially blamed for his slump but the Northern Irishman insists that he is now comfortable with the equipment in his bag.
He failed to make the final Tour Championship event of the 2013 PGA season and took a few weeks off before returning for last week’s Korea Open.
And there were certainly positive signs from the Far East as he rallied from a 10-shot third-round deficit to share second place just one stroke behind the winner.
The Ryder Cup star is now in China for the start of the Final Series of four events in the Race to Dubai and he has made it clear that it is titles and not his place in the standings that is his major motivation.
“Not being world number one doesn’t make me more hungry, because it doesn’t matter if I’m number three or number 63,” he said.
“What makes me hungry is that I haven’t won any tournaments this year and the burning desire to win more is still very much in me.”
McIlroy will face a strong field at Lake Malaren this week, with the likes of Henrik Stenson, fitness permitting, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Nicolas Colsaerts all set to tee it up.