Two-time major winner Rory McIlroy insists he has learned lessons from a difficult year which has seen him fail to register a single victory.
However, the Northern Irishman refused to comment on rumours about his private life which claim he has split from tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.
A poor run of form at the start of the season coincided with the confirmation of McIlroy’s multi-million pound switch to Nike and so far he has only had one top-five finish in 2013 – a year after topping the money list on both sides of the Atlantic.
There have also been issues off the course as well as in addition to his relationship with Wozniacki he has changed management company with a court case to follow as a result.
The 24-year-old believes his disappointing form is golf-related though and he thinks it has all been part of a learning curve.
“I learned a lot this year,” he said ahead of his appearance at this week’s Korea Open.
“I was under-golfed for the first three to four months. If I had to do it all over again, I’d probably have played more at the start of this year, just to play my way into the season a little better.
“This is the first year that I struggled as a pro. It’s the first year I didn’t live up to my expectations. Coming off the back of such a good year 2012, it’s always tough to emulate that. This year is a little bit of a disappointment, but I’ve still got six tournaments left this year to finish the year strongly and get some momentum for 2014.
“I’ve had four weeks off and it’s nice to get back into some tournament play. It’d be good to start this week with a good performance. Obviously, it’d be great to win.”
McIlroy also denies his golf problems are a direct result of him changing equipment.
“Mechanically my golf swing...I fell into a couple of bad habits and I was trying to work myself out of it. It affects mental issues as well,” he added.
“Golf is a game of confidence and if you are confident it allows you to play better and freer... with a free mind. It definitely had nothing to do with equipment. It had more to do with how I swing.”
Asked about a reported split with his girlfriend McIlroy said: “My private life is private and I would like to keep it that way.”