Sport Golf

Tuesday 24 April 2018

McIlroy rolls back on Open remarks

GOLF

Getty Images
Getty Images

Karl MacGinty

WARM favourite Rory McIlroy deftly defused one controversy on the eve of the Irish Open last night but left another riddle unsolved.

McIlroy will thrill tens of thousands of his fellow countrymen in Killarney this week if he reproduces the quality golf which earned him a landslide victory at last month's US Open at Congressional.

Yet after his disappointing finish at the British Open, McIlroy stirred a hornet's nest by saying he was "not a fan" of tournaments decided by the weather and was not inclined to change his game to play just one tournament.

Explaining he'd been "frustrated coming off the golf course" at Royal St George's, McIlroy went on: "If I'd a little more time to think about it, I probably would have said something different.

"I was honest and just spoke as I felt," explained the Holywood star (22), adding he'd ask friend, mentor and Open champion Darren Clarke for advice on how to play better in seaside breezes.

"I'm going to have to learn how to play in those conditions going forward," McIlroy conceded.

"Obviously, Darren's unbelievable in the wind. Maybe if I go out and play with him in the winter at Portrush, I could learn."

As for the riddle of his whereabouts during a five-day sun break in the south of France last week, McIlroy left everyone guessing, with most surmising he'd passed the time in Monte Carlo, where new girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark's tennis world No 1, lives.

"I notice a couple of bandages on your fingers -- tennis, perhaps?" he was asked. "Very funny," McIlroy replied, explaining they were golf related.

McIlroy tumbled from third on Friday to 32nd on Sunday with a lacklustre performance over the weekend at last year's Irish Open but is all revved-up for this week. "I think there's a tremendous atmosphere and a great buzz about the tournament," he said.

Irish Independent

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