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Rory blasts back at robot jibe

By Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy hit back at suggestions from top coach and TV commentator Butch Harmon that he looked robotic as he launched his bid for a second Open title with an imaginative 69 at Carnoustie.

The American coach was hugely critical of McIlroy on Sky Sports, insisting the Holywood star should forget about swing mechanics and endorsement contracts and concentrate on getting back to world No 1.

Harmon said: "I would like to see him start playing golf and stop playing golf swing. He looks like a robot out there when I see him practise putting.

"Rory had this spell when he wasn't putting good and hitting the ball good and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it."

McIlroy was pleased with a two-under par opening effort that left him just three shots behind leader Kevin Kisner. And he had no problem batting back Harmon's criticism, insisting he's far from being a robot.

McIlroy, out early this morning with a 7.52am tee time, said: "Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical.

"It's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening.

"I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing, he doesn't know what's in my head.

"So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate but, unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it."

Belfast Telegraph

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