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McIlroy unfazed by Masters memories


Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

All eyes in golf are on Rory McIlroy again after his wonderful start to the US Open at Congressional near Washington DC.

His bogey-free six under par 65 put him three clear of Korean YE Yang and Charl Schwartzel, the South African who took The Masters title in April after McIlroy went from four ahead to 10 behind with a nightmare 80. That traumatic experience was only 68 days ago, but he insists he is not haunted by it - or even seeking to avenge it.

"I don't know if it says that I've just got a very short memory," the 22-year-old Northern Irishman joked after out-scoring playing partner Phil Mickelson by nine on the American's 41st birthday.

"I learned a lot from it, but going into the US Open you can't be thinking about what's happened before. You've got to just be thinking about this week and how best you can prepare and how you can get yourself around the golf course.

"You definitely have to analyse the parts that you want to do better, but I really stopped thinking about it a week after. What I took mostly from the Sunday was being so tentative and trying to keep ahead of the field instead of playing a free-flowing game like I usually do."

Not that he is expecting to continue making hay like he did in the opening round.

Asked if he would take three level par 71s from now on he replied: "Yeah, definitely.

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"This golf course is only going to get firmer and it's going to get harder. I still think something around two, three, four under is going to have a good chance - even something around level par is probably going to come very close on Sunday.

"It's a US Open - they know how to make the golf course a lot more difficult than it was today. It's not going to be that easy every day. I know that and I think everyone else knows that.

"But it is nice when all parts of your game are on song and you can put together a low round. It was tricky out there, but I just managed to keep the ball in the fairway and find a lot of greens (all but the 14th, where he saved par from 15 feet)."

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