Sport

McIlroy confident home comforts will aid his Open bid

McIlroy confident home comforts will aid his Open bid”

Rory McIlroy is confident that Royal Portrush will be a "spectacular" venue for the Open and he considers next week as a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to win a major on home soil.

The tournament gets underway in Northern Ireland on July 18 at the course where McIlroy set the record in 2005 with a round of 61.

And the 30-year-old is excited to launch his bid for a second Claret Jug next week, having triumphed in the world's oldest major in 2014. I made arrangements to go to dinner with my parents and I said: 'Can we have it about 8pm because I don't know how much time I'm going to have to spend at Portrush and sort of just get my bearings.' I ended up moving the dinner forward because I didn't needed to spend as much as time as I thought I did, which I guess is a comforting thing in a way.

"It's bigger, it's tougher and obviously all the infrastructure out there".

"I want to get myself in contention and have a chance to win the golf tournament".

McIlroy is one of his country's most famous exports and he recognises that his exploits, alongside those of Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and the Republic of Ireland's Padraig Harrington, have played a role in bringing The Open to Portrush for the first time since 1951.

Mr Carlisle said it was reasonable for organisers to inform workers, such as those coming from other parts of the world, of events happening around the same time as The Open.

Woods declared on social media that he was getting up at 1am to get himself locked into European time ahead of the trip to Royal Portrush. Then I parred the next two holes and didn't birdie 13, which was a good chance, but then I birdied the last five in a row.

"I took three months off at the end of 2017 to try and get myself right for 2018 and I think the golf that I have played over the last two years has been a lot better, a lot more consistent, and that's just because I've been able to do what I want to do in terms of practise, training, and committing myself to putting the work in and playing a bit more", he said."I played a big schedule last year".

"That was probably the first time that I realised that we had something pretty special on our hands from the point of view of Irish golf and Northern Irish golf".

"I don't think they're trying to flag up any particular dangers to people - it's just an awareness thing".

"It might be 68 years until Portrush gets The Open again so I want to enjoy it".

"I'm sort of treating it like a once in a lifetime opportunity but I still have to enjoy it".

"I'm in a very lucky position".

"It's amusing. I keep thinking back and in that stretch of golf there's two tough holes, the 14th (Calamity Corner), which is now the 16th, and then the old 16th, which is now the 18th".

"I'm here fully focused on this event".



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