The Northern Irish star is preparing for his second Ryder Cup appearance, and the 23-year-old is eager to get going.
McIlroy, who romped to his second Major title of his career in last month's US PGA Championship, has a huge weight of expectation on his young shoulders as the leading player on the global rankings.
But the Holywood ace reckons that lofty stature counts for nothing in the cut and thrust of team competition.
McIlroy, who has won four titles on American soil this season, said: "This week, I'm not the No.1 player in the world.
"I'm one person in a 12-man team and that's it. It's a team effort and there are 12 guys all striving towards the same goal. I'm just part of that.
"We're a unit, you're not playing for yourself. You're playing for a lot of other people and you don't want to let them down."
McIlroy's successful global exploits have made him the star attraction of the European team and a marked man as far as the US side is concerned.
He may lack the Ryder Cup experience of the likes of Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and others, but the former Walker Cup star is willing to step up to the plate and be an on-course leader.
McIlroy, who picked up two points from a possible four from his debut at Celtic Manor, said: "I think there are leaders on our team that will lead with experience.
"I feel like the way I've played the last couple of years, I don't see my role as a leader in the team room; it's more of a leader out on the course.
"There are a lot more guys that have played more Ryder Cups than me and more experienced in the team room and know when to speak up and have different views on things. This is only my second Ryder Cup and I'm still getting to know and learn about it."
McIlroy is relishing the prospect of being the man that all the US players want to beat and he is ready for the fight ahead.
He added: "I think it's a huge compliment that people are saying they want to beat me. Whoever wants to take me on, then they can take me on.
"I just want to go out and get a point for the team. Whether that means me going out first or fourth or in the middle, it really doesn't make a difference who I play. If Jose (Maria Olazabal) wants me to play in all five matches then great. I want to play as much as I can and help as much as I can."
Three years ago, McIlroy stated that he thought the Ryder Cup was nothing more than an "exhibition" and that "it's not that important to me."
Now, older and wiser, he admits that his experience at Celtic Manor in 2010 has made him appreciate just how important the biennial battle is.
He said: "I'd been to Ryder Cups before to watch and knew how exciting they were but it's only when you are actually involved and you play and stand on the tee with everyone screaming your name, that's when you realise how important it is.
"Celtic Manor certainly opened my eyes. It's just a different atmosphere. Playing for your team-mates, your captain, your vice-captains, your country and your continent. I realised then what a big deal it is."
McIlroy's stunning rise to golfing superstardom has made him popular on both sides of the Atlantic, but he's prepared for a hot reception from the sports-mad Chicago spectators.
He said: "I'm very well supported over here but this is going to be different and it's my first Ryder Cup in the US. Hopefully I won't get heckled but, if I do, then I'll just try to stay calm and focus on the golf."