McIlroy finds perspective
The time has arrived for Rory McIlroy to see if he can hit straight back from the most crushing disappointment of his young golfing life in the majors.
But if anything was going to put what happened to him at The Masters in April into perspective a trip to earthquake-hit Haiti on the eve of this week's US Open certainly fitted the bill.
McIlroy, appointed a UNICEF Ireland Ambassador in March, went on his first field trip to see the aid efforts for himself, and said: "The chance that these children are getting to be kids and enjoy themselves is so important for their well-being. Nothing could prepare me for meeting the children in Haiti and I am truly amazed by how happy they are."
He added: "The everyday things that we take for granted at home in Ireland are so longed for in Haiti."
It all made McIlroy appreciate more what his talent has already given him and now he hopes it will take him to a first major title two months after a closing 80 at Augusta that at the time seemed so devastating.
Four ahead with a round to go, he finished 10 strokes behind Charl Schwartzel and at Wentworth recently McIlroy spoke of how much it hurt to see his South African stablemate wearing his green jacket up on stage at the European Tour awards night.
The young Ryder Cup star went from Haiti to the course near Washington for an early look at the course where the season's second major champion will be crowned.
After his first round he wrote on Twitter: "Saw Congressional for the first time today. Great golf course, gotta draw the ball a lot so hopefully that will suit me!"
And after completing his trip he added: "Two days at Congressional were great! Got all my prep done so I can put all my energy into Thursday-Sunday next week!"