Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

McIlroy at home on centre stage

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy took it all in his young stride on Tuesday as he flew in for The Open Championship at Sandwich

With no Tiger Woods this week McIlroy, who last month claimed the US Open with a record low-score of 16-under par, has centre stage to himself and so his every move is being charted.

"I didn't realise how much of a fuss it would create or how much of a buzz," he said. "The support that I've had from people back home, from everyone all over the world, has been pretty overwhelming. It's a very nice feeling to have that support walking onto the golf course."

His new status comes with enormous expectations inevitably and he added: "I don't think I'll be able to play that sort of golf every week I tee it up.

"I hope I do, but I can't see it. And I don't think the public's expectations are higher than mine.

"Winning my first major has lifted a weight. I don't have to answer that question - now I can talk about winning my second one.

"If anything it just gives me more confidence knowing that I can do it.

"And if I can bottle the mentality that I had at the US Open going into every tournament I'd be very happy.

"It's nice to be the centre of attention. I've prepared the exact same way that I've prepared for the last few major championships and I feel it's a process that works for me.

"I used to do it to sort of keep under the radar. I'm not sure I'll be able to do that any more, but it works for me."