Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

G-Mac happy for Rory McIlroy to hog the limelight at Open

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell
Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell knows he’ll be in compatriot Rory McIlroy’s shadow at the Open this week — and he couldn’t be happier about that.

‘G-Mac’ was in contention for the Scottish Open yesterday until a disastrous nine at the 12th hole ended his challenge.

McIlroy stayed away from Castle Stuart but, as favourite for the Open at Sandwich, he will soon be thrust back into the limelight.

And close friend McDowell — whom McIlroy succeeded as US Open champion — is well of the sort of attention, and pressure, the 22-year-old will be subjected to.

“Rory’s the man of the moment. He’s one of the hottest golfers on the planet and he’s the man with all the attention to deal with this week,” said McDowell.

“Rory is the one who’s going to be under the microscope from the media, the players and spectators.

“He is going to be overwhelmed by the response he’s going to get at the Open — people patting his back, shaking his hand and cheering him down every fairway.

“I remember it from last year so I’m quite happy to be flying under the radar and using Rory as my little deflector. Let him take all the attention; that’s cool with me. I’ve had my 12 months in the spotlight.”

World No.1 Luke Donald carded a closing round 63 to clinch the Scottish title yesterday.

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