Sport Golf

Saturday 21 October 2017

Major No 2 would show I'm force to be reckoned with -- Rory

Rory McIlroy was in relaxed mood at yesterday’s British Open press conference at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
Rory McIlroy was in relaxed mood at yesterday’s British Open press conference at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

Karl MacGinty

RORY McILROY romped to one of the greatest Major victories in history at Congressional but believes lifting the Claret Jug next Sunday at Lytham would be his "greatest achievement in golf".

"To win that first Major was very important," said McIlroy (23). "And to move to world No 1 in March was nice, but to win the Open and a second Major would definitely mean more to me than winning that first one.

"It will show people I'm not a one-hit wonder and it'll prove to myself I can win a number of Majors."

The past 15 Majors have all been won by different players, while nine straight first-time champions have been crowned since Phil Mickelson's success at the 2010 Masters.

McIlroy rewrote the record book when he romped away with the US Open title last summer but was crushed by the weight of expectation at Sandwich the following month.

Since then, he did well to finish the US PGA after injuring his wrist on a tree root in Atlanta and made it to world No 1 in March after a sizzling string of 12 top-five finishes in 13 tournaments.

superstar

However, McIlroy failed to live up to his superstar billing in the first two Majors of 2012. He flopped over the weekend at the Masters and missed the cut in his US Open title defence at Olympic last month.

Having recovered from what he describes as "just a little blip on the radar", McIlroy said: "It's a massive incentive for me to win that second Major.

"There has been talk of the parity now in golf, with fields so much deeper and tighter, so it'd be a great feeling to be able to break out of that bunch (of first-time winners)."

Thrilled not to have to deal this week with "the madness" stirred at last year's British Open by his Congressional feats, McIlroy went on: "I'm excited about this week and how good my game is at present. I've been here since Thursday and feel I've got to know the golf course very well. I played Lytham a lot during my amateur days and always enjoyed it.

"I've got my game plan set and now it's just a matter of going out there and executing it. The Open is always special but I've a very good feeling about this one."

Irish Independent

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