LONDON, June 22, 2011 (AFP) - US Open champion Rory McIlroy is adamant he can handle the burden of expectation following his first Major success.
The 22-year-old Northern Irishman left the rest of the field trailing with an eight-stroke win at the Congressional course in Maryland last week.
It was a performance all the more remarkable given his final round blow-out when leading the US Masters in April.
"With success comes expectation. I know expectations on me are pretty high now, but I expect big things of myself anyway," McIlroy told Sky Sports.
"As long as I keep committed and dedicated, I don't see any reason why I won't handle it (extra pressure) well."
McIlroy, speaking at his home club of Holywood near Belfast, described his performance at Congressional as the best of his career.
"Last week was fabulous. The golf I played - I've never played before in my life," he said.
"I always wanted to believe that I could win a Major, but until you do, you never know. It feels great."
McIlroy's win kept the US Open title in Northern Ireland following compatriot Graeme McDowell's victory at Pebble Beach last year.
"To think a European hadn't won it for 40 years (since England's Tony Jacklin) until Graeme did and now the two of us went back-to-back - it's great.
"To grow up in tough conditions here, which there is at a US Open, helped us I think.
"But I don't think you can explain back-to-back US Open winners from a country with a population of 1.5 million."
Meanwhile fans buying tickets for next month's Irish Open in Killarney will have their names entered into a draw where a prize will be the chance to play alongside McIlroy in the pro-am.
"Hopefully people will like the idea of taking me on. I might even give them a couple of shots," McIlroy said.
"The Irish Open is very high on the list of tournaments that I would like to win in my career one day.
"I think every golfer has a special place in his or her heart for their national Open and I am no different.
"To win in front of a home crowd is something we don't get the chance to do that often, so I'd love to win the title."