Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

I'll be ready for Open, says Rory McIlroy

The last time Rory McIlroy took a competitive golf swing it was on the 18th hole at Congressional C.C, the scene of his incredible US Open triumph.



With The Open Championship taking place at Royal St George's in Kent next week, it means Rory will not have played in any competition between the two majors.

It’s a break that, along with the injury to Tiger Woods, is dominating golf’s headlines around the world, with Colin Montgomerie the latest to offer his opinion.

The outspoken Scot said: “He's so natural I don't think there are any fears about his game, but it's the locker room — there are going to be so many people wanting to congratulate him.

“He could have got that out of his system and out of the way so he can start the Open afresh. Now he's got that ahead of him and on the first tee I think he will be mentally tired.”

McIlroy, who was in attendance at David Haye’s world title defeat in Hamburg and then the Wimbledon men’s final last weekend, is spending today and tomorrow at Royal St George’s.

And while his former Ryder Cup captain may not agree with the young Holywood star taking the three-week break, Rory’s been quick to stress that his lack of competition does not mean his mind has wandered too far from the business of golf.

Dispelling fears about his level of readiness for the season’s third major, McIlroy said: “I’ve been on the range and am spending today and tomorrow with my coach at Sandwich. I’ll ensure I’ve prepared properly.”

Rory will then not return to the Kent course until holding his pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday.

Graeme McDowell, who is competing in the Scottish Open today, was another to express concern.

The 2010 US Open winner said: “He’ll have had a couple of weeks to get it out of his system and he’ll take this week to get his business head on.

“His game will be ready but what hit me last year was the response from inside and outside the ropes.

“So many people patting you on the back and shaking your hand. It really is hard to focus.”

Even without McIlroy, the field for the Scottish Open remains highly competitive with Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson and world No 1 Luke Donald all in action.

And G-Mac’s group will be one to watch as he takes to the course with England’s Justin Rose and two-time major champion Angel Cabrera.

Fellow Northern Irishmen Gareth Maybin, Darren Clarke and Michael Hoey are also competing at Castle Stuart.

Padraig Harrington will play alongside Mickelson and local favourite Paul Lawrie.

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