Rory McIlroy claims playing in wind has knocked his swing out of kilter
Rory McIlroy revealed yesterday that playing in the wind over the last few weeks has whacked his swing out of kilter. And together with his coach Michael Bannon he has been urgently trying to fix the "alignment" issue before the first round of the 146th Open.
The world No 4 missed the cut in successive weeks in Ireland and then, last Friday, at the Scottish Open. With his putting and wedge play well below average, McIlroy admitted that he was still playing catch-up because of the broken rib he suffered at the start of the season. This latest setback was the last thing he wanted.
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McIlroy played with Pádraig Harrington yesterday and once again was using an aligning device on the range. On Sunday, he could be heard complaining on the range about his long irons. A day on and he explained why.
"I think playing in the wind these last few weeks has put my alignment out," he said. "And that's the tricky thing about playing in the wind in the build-up to this event - you run the risk of getting into a few bad habits, just trying to keep the ball down. That's what we are trying to iron out."
McIlroy said he was confident of fixing the problem and claimed to be feeling more optimistic than he has been in the last fortnight.
However, his short-game might remain a sticking point for anybody wishing to invest on the 28-year-old winning his second Claret Jug.
There were impressive crowds watching him yesterday on another glorious day and the galleries will be huge when he tees off in the company of world No 1 Dustin Johnson and the 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
McIlroy makes no secret of his preference for an early tee-time in the first round; he likes to get out and post a number to spook the rest. But he is not off until 2.48pm. And just to compound his concerns, at the moment McIlroy looks like being in the wrong side of the draw, with the gusts set to rise on Thursday afternoon and remain through Friday morning before dropping in the afternoon. (© Daily Telegraph, London)