‘Bro­ken record’ McIl­roy con­fi­dent of find­ing form

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Rory McIl­roy joked he is be­gin­ning to sound like a “bro­ken record” as he strives to re­gain his best form ahead of to­day’s Scot­tish Open and next week’s Open Cham­pi­onship. As world num­ber four he tees up on the Dun­don­ald Links course, on the Scot­tish west coast and just to the south of Glas­gow, as the high­est ranked player in the field.

How­ever, four-time ma­jor cham­pion McIl­roy is com­ing off the em­bar­rass­ment of miss­ing the halfway cut by four shots while host­ing last week’s Ir­ish Open. He and his wife Erica took the two-hour ferry from Belfast to Cairn­ryan in Scot­land on Mon­day, with McIl­roy head­ing straight to the prac­tice putting green upon his ar­rival.

“After catch­ing the ferry, I got to the course here late Mon­day af­ter­noon and did some putting on my own,” said McIl­roy, who recorded 33 putts for each of his two rounds in North­ern Ire­land last week.

“I just was try­ing to fig­ure out a cou­ple things on my own and try to take own­er­ship of what I’m re­ally work­ing on. “I worked a lot on rou­tine. I feel like I’ve be­come quite bogged down in tech­ni­cal thoughts a lit­tle bit. “So, I need to fo­cus more on my rou­tine and how I ap­proach a putt.” McIl­roy got his first look at Dun­don­ald Links, which is host­ing the event for the first time, on Tues­day morn­ing for a full 18-hole prac­tice round be­fore con­test­ing Wed­nes­day’s Pro-Am.

It is the first time McIl­roy is play­ing the event since 2014 when he shot a new course record 64 at Royal Aberdeen en route to shar­ing 14th place be­fore then head­ing to Royal Liver­pool and bril­liantly claim­ing the Open Cham­pi­onship. How­ever, after a stop-start 2017 sea­son be­set by in­juries and in­dif­fer­ent form, McIl­roy is far from a favourite to win golf’s old­est ma­jor for a sec­ond oc­ca­sion in four years. He did fin­ish in a share of sev­enth at The Mas­ters but then hor­ri­bly missed the cut in the US Open.

“My game is close but then it’s hard to sit up here and stand in front of a cam­era ev­ery sin­gle time and say to you guys it’s close, be­cause I sound a bit of a bro­ken record after a few weeks,” said a smil­ing McIl­roy. “But re­ally, it’s not far away. I’m pos­i­tive about it. I’m ex­cited about my game. I feel like I’m do­ing a lot of good things.

“And again, it’s just putting it all to­gether. Putting it all to­gether, not just for one day but for four days; and not just for four days, to do it week-in and week-out. “Look, I’ve got a busy sum­mer com­ing up. I’m po­ten­tially play­ing seven weeks out of eight or seven weeks out of nine. I’ve got a busy stretch com­ing up and I’m ex­cited to play.”— AFP

TROON: This is a Sun­day, July 17, 2016 file photo of Henrik Sten­son of Swe­den holds up the tro­phy to the crowd after win­ning the Bri­tish Open Golf Cham­pi­onships at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scot­land. — AP

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