McIlroy holes a 43-putt on the 18th to the delight of the North Carolina crowd
Rory McIlroy says a round on the familiar fairways of Royal Portrush was the springboard to his dramatic win at the Quail Hollow Championship.
McIlroy said he needed a break after missing the cut at the Masters but a few days at home in Northern Ireland restored his morale.
His week included a confidence-boosting round of 67 at Royal Portrush.
"I thought if I can shoot 67 around there in a pretty good breeze then I can shoot it anywhere," said McIlroy.
The Northern Irishman, who turns 21 on Tuesday, added: "I got home and took a few days off.
"I just said to myself 'Look, there's no point in feeling sorry for yourself here. You're not playing great you need to go and work.
"So last week all I concentrated on was playing with my buddies, playing with anyone, but just trying to go out there and shoot a score."
That 62 is one of the best rounds I've seen in a long, long time
Phil Mickelson on McIlroy
McIlroy's astonishing weekend rounds of 66 and 62 earned him a four-shot victory over Masters champion Phil Mickelson and the Holywood man picked up a cheque of £770,000 for his first PGA Tour triumph.
"He's an amazing talent," said world number two Mickelson.
"You knew he was going to come and win out here. It's remarkable and he is some kind of player.
"That 62 is one of the best rounds I've seen in a long, long time.
"He's got the game of a veteran. This guy has got all the shots. He's a class act and fun to be around - you can't help but pull for him."
McIlroy's final-round course record at Quail Hollow meant that he became the youngest winner on the PGA Tour since Tiger Woods in 1996.
The new world number nine will head to this week's Players Championship at Sawgrass full of confidence.
McIlroy is planning a "small birthday celebration" on Tuesday evening after arriving at the Florida venue.
Compatriot and close friend Graeme McDowell said: "I've always believed he was a superstar ready to happen.
"He hasn't been prolific as a pro (it was only his second victory), no doubt about it, but it was only a matter of time and get him on a world-class course against a world-class field and he took them apart.
"It doesn't surprise me - he's that good. Watching him play the 18th was pretty emotional for me - it gave me goosebumps when he holed that putt.
"Tiger Woods has probably never played nine holes of golf like Rory's - he is so far ahead of him in the way he drives the ball - long, very accurate and very aggressive.
"Tiger's unbelievable from irons in, but Rory has a real weapon on the tee.
"A couple of years ago I would have said Tiger's going to take an awful lot of moving from world number one, but he's a little less infallible now and Rory's a phenomenal talent."