McIlroy confident of home comforts at Royal Portrush

Paola Ditto
Июля 14, 2019

There can be no denying, though, that he already has one eye on next week's assignment, an opprtunity to land a second Claret Jug but first on home soil as Royal Portrush stages the Open Championship for the first time since 1951.

McIlroy set the course record at Portrush with a 61 in the North of Ireland Championship as a 16-year-old, although the layout has since been changed, with the previous 17th and 18th holes removed and two new ones built into the middle of the round.

"It's spectacular, it's unbelievable".

He said: "I'm here fully focused on this event".

"It's bigger, it's tougher and obviously all the infrastructure out there". It's going to be such a great experience for me.

McIlroy is headlining the field this week at the Scottish Open, where he told reporters Wednesday his sole focus is on lifting the trophy at Renaissance.

"Hopefully not. Hopefully it's a huge success and it becomes part of The Open rota".

The round in question was at Royal Portrush and can never be surpassed given the changes to the course made since, but it would have been a fearless soul to bet on anyone wiping McIlroy's name from the record books in any event. "I'm in a very lucky position (although) there's a couple of things I'd still like to do. It's a big event".

"If I went back 10 years to when I was starting off and I thought that in 10 years' time, this is what you've achieved and this is where you're going to be in the game, how would you go out and play?"

"And I'd say, "well, I'd go out and not have a care in the world". "To think about just where the game of golf is nowadays, and to think that The Open's coming back to Portrush after 60-whatever years, it's really, really cool".

"It might be (another) 68 years until Portrush gets the Open, so go out and enjoy it. Smell the roses". When I try to put extra emphasis on tournaments, it nearly goes the other way for me. It felt like just the same old golf course that I grew up playing and it was nice.

Playing well at the Renaissance Club this week, "not disrespecting this tournament" and adding to his haul of national Open titles - he reached six with the Canadian Open victory last month - means a lot to him as well. "The more I can enjoy that, roll with it and play with that freedom, the better I think I can do".

"I want to enjoy the experience and take it in as well, not have my blinkers on the whole time, look to the right of me, look to the left of me, see all these fans, see all these people who have come out to support me and if I'm able to play some good golf that I have been doing all year and give myself a chance".

"I think most tournaments deserve to stand on their own two feet and have some stature, and The Scottish Open is one of these events on the European Tour".

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