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McIlroy hoping for an upswing


Rory McIlroy. Picture: Jay LaPrete/AP

Rory McIlroy. Picture: Jay LaPrete/AP

Rory McIlroy. Picture: Jay LaPrete/AP

RORY McILROY will be bidding to put his poor showing at the BMW PGA Championship behind him at this week's Memorial Tournament with the US Open a little over two weeks away.

The Co Down man admitted he was put off by the poor weather at Wentworth and missed the cut after disappointing rounds of 74 and 75.

However, the world No 2 is aiming to rediscover his form in the warmer climes of the United States.

And perhaps the fact he is teeing off alongside world number four Justin Rose and 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson in one of the more exciting groups will give McIlroy an added incentive to succeed.

He'll have his work cut out, however, with Tiger Woods in flying form and looking to lay a marker for the next major of the year.

Eight of the world's top 10 will be in action in Dublin, Ohio, including McIlroy, Rose, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, but world number one Woods is the man to beat.

The American birdied three of his last four holes to turn a two-shot deficit into a two-stroke victory in this competition 12 months ago – the fifth time he has come out on top at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Woods will be itching to claim a sixth crown this week ahead of the US Open – which gets under way on June 13 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania – and build further momentum following his success at the Players Championship earlier this month.

Victory in Florida was the 37-year-old's fourth title this year and he will have no intention of resting on his laurels when he tees off alongside Keegan Bradley and Fred Couples in his opening round of Jack Nicklaus' tournament today.

"I'm looking forward to it. I played really well last time at the Players," said Woods. "It's been a nice two weeks off and nice to get back and play at an event that I've always loved playing.

"I think I've always played Nicklaus courses well. Looking at my career, I've won on quite a few. For some reason I just feel comfortable on his golf courses, the way he sets it up.



"There's ample room off the tees, the greens are really severe and if you miss the green it's a test for your short game and those are the things I do well."

Rose knows what it takes to succeed in this competition after triumphing in 2010 and he is being tipped as one of the frontrunners to upset Woods, although compatriot and world number 10 Westwood is hoping he can build on his result at the BMW PGA Championship, where he finished in a tie for ninth.

"I'm playing pretty consistently," said the 40-year-old. "Hopefully (I'll) get in contention and finish it off."