- Rory McIlroy has set his sights on becoming the world's best golfer
- McIlroy has already clinched his first major in 2011 at the U.S. Open
- The 22-year-old has recently started a relationship with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki
British golfer Rory McIlroy has enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2011, winning his first major championship and climbing to third in the world rankings.
But far from resting on his laurels, the 22-year-old has set his sights on usurping compatriot Luke Donald as the world's top-ranked golfer in 2012.
"Number one is a huge achievement," McIlroy told CNN. "To be able to call yourself the best in your field is a huge accomplishment. So hopefully I can get closer to that goal this year and then maybe be able to achieve it next year.
"World number one is a big goal, but winning tournaments and winning majors should take care of that."
Winning a major is something McIlroy has already familiarized himself with, emulating fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell's 2010 achievement by capturing a record-breaking U.S. Open triumph at Congressional in June.
McIlroy looked set to secure a first career major two months earlier at the Masters, when he led the field by four shots heading into the final round at Augusta.
But, despite his considerable lead at the start of the fourth day, McIlroy collapsed, carding a round of 80 to finish tied for 15th position, and his final day disappointment in Georgia is one of the few regrets he has this year.
"This year has been great. If anything, obviously the last round at Augusta would have been one to take back.
"And maybe playing the shot from behind the tree root in the PGA ...to ruin my chances on the third hole of the tournament wasn't the smartest idea in the world."
McIlroy sustained an injury to his wrist when he struck a tree root on the opening day of the PGA Championship while attempting to strike his ball from the rough.
As a result of the setback the two-time winner on the PGA Tour could only manage to finish tied for 64th position, but McIlroy admitted it would have been impossible to talk him out of attempting the risky shot.
When asked if his caddy JP Fitzgerald could have dissuaded him from taking the swing, McIlroy replied: "No, I'm too stubborn. I don't listen on the golf course.
"With me it seems I have to make the mistake first and then I'll learn from it, and hopefully I'll do the right thing the next time."
One person McIlroy has been listening to is the world's number one female tennis player -- Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki.
The relationship between McIlroy and the 21-year-old has boosted his international profile even further, and he admitted the two share advice on how to deal with the rigors of top-level competition.
"It's been great," said McIlroy of Wozniacki. "I've spent a lot of time with Caroline over the past couple of months and we're getting on great together. I'm trying to improve my tennis and she's trying to improve her golf a little bit.
"I think the mental side of sport is huge and just to talk through different situations, how you were feeling and what went through your head and what you could have done differently.
"Maybe I can use some experiences of my own to help her and she can use some of hers to help me. We obviously don't talk about our sports all the time, but it is nice to bounce ideas of one another."