The Holywood golfer says the event has become "one of the most important weeks of the year" for him
Rory McIlroy insists he can improve on his dire Irish Open record this week at the K Club, as the world number three welcomes the stars to the event hosted by the Rory Foundation.
The 27-year-old struggled at the event in recent years, missing the cut on his previous three outings on home soil and managing to finish in the top ten only twice in nine attempts.
"The Irish Open, it always was, but even more so now, it's become one of the most important weeks of the year for me," he said at today's press conference.
"Obviously for a couple of different reasons. We're here to try and raise as much money as we possibly can for three local charities in the Dublin area, but also it's a tournament that I desperately would love to win one day.
"My performances in this event haven't been to what I would obviously want. I want to really change that this week with a good performance and I feel like my game is in good enough shape to do that.
"I'm coming off a couple of decent weeks in the States where I felt like I played better than what the results suggested, so I'm looking forward to the week. The K Club here is a golf course where I feel like I can do well on. It sets up well for me."
Rory McIlroy practices his putting at last year's Irish Open. Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
McIlroy comes off the back of a 12th place finish at Sawgrass, despite finishing last in the putting statistics. The Holywood golfer feels he can find his rhythm at home and is desperate to add it to his list of honours.
"Whether it's an American dreaming of winning the US Open or a German or a Spaniard or whatever. Winning your home open in front of your home crowd, your home fans, you don't get very many opportunities to do it, so it would be very special.
"Being able to do it in front of everyone that has supported me all throughout the years. It's definitely one tournament that is missing from my C.V. that I would love to add.
"Once the tournament starts, I really don't have many other commitments, so I'm trying to really focus on the tournament when we get going.
"I learned a lot from last year and know that if I want to play well this week, which is the main objective, I have to really focus on the event for when we get started."