'I thrive on being number one'

Rory McIlroy says being number both stimulates and improves his game.

Number one Rory McIlroy thrives on being the best.

Rory Mcilroy believes becoming golf's world number one has lifted his game to new heights and that he will be hard to beat at next month's Singapore Open.

The 23-year-old Northern Irishman heads a quality field at the $6 million tournament from November 8-11 that also includes American Phil Mickelson and three-times winner Adam Scott of Australia.

World number 12 Louis Oosthuizen will also be among the contenders at the Sentosa Golf Club, but a confident McIlroy feels his A-game trumps that of his rivals.

"The status (of being world number one) adds pressure but it's one that I thrive on," McIlroy, who won his second major at this year's US PGA Championship, said in a statement.

"I know I can be hard to beat when I'm at my best, so I go into every tournament knowing that if I play well then I have a good chance of winning."

McIlroy finished runner-up at the BMW Masters in Shanghai at the weekend.

"People expect me to play well, and I expect myself to play better," he said. "To call myself a multiple major winner and world number one, it's great.

"I knew that I was good enough to achieve this at some stage," added McIlroy, who helped Europe beat the United States in an astonishing Ryder Cup comeback win last month.

"I'm a bit surprised that it has happened already when I'm still 23. My target now is always to win my next tournament, win my next major, and keep improving all areas of my game."

McIlroy underlined his status as the golf's top player with a runaway eight-stroke victory at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in August.