Some good old Ulster home cooking is set to propel Rory McIlroy to the top of the world in Florida. The US Open champion is clearly feeling the benefits after his mum and dad flew in for the Honda Classic.

Victory this weekend will see McIlroy overtake Luke Donald at the top of the world rankings after his near miss in Arizona last Sunday.

The McIlroys are staying at Rory’s new base in the Gulf State and his opening round 66 at West Palm Beach suggests mum’s cooking is helping the world domination bid.

The opening round score came after McIlroy tweeted on Wednesday night: “My mum’s homemade chilli - awesome.”

Rory’s golf was just as hot on Thursday as he posted a six under par 66 to finish the day in joint second, two off the pace set by the veteran Davis Love 111.
McIlroy said: “I feel like I’ve got a few targets in my head and I’m sort of striving to get to those.

“Obviously with all of the talk of number one it would be great to get to that position at some point.

“I feel like I’m playing good enough to challenge for it at least, but I’m working towards trying to peak my game from April through to August for the four majors and for the big tournaments.

“I want to give myself the best possible chance going into those tournaments.

“I feel like my work ethic is probably increased a little bit this year as well. It comes down to hard work and just wanting it a little bit more.”

Love, who hit a new course record 64, paid tribute to McIlroy.

The Ryder Cup veteran said: “I see in Rory a willingness to do whatever it takes to be a top player. “He’s worked hard. He says and does all the right things. It looks like he’s really working out in the gym.

“He’s soaking it all in to do all he can to be a great player. That determination, that little bit of something extra that drives you - I think he’s got it.”

Padraig Harrington is on level par while Graeme McDowell and Open champion Darren Clarke must improve on their 73s to make the cut.

Rory McIlroy photographed in the royal box at WimbledonGoogle Images