McIlroy “building towards something” ahead of US Open challenge

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy at the 2023 U.S. Open at The Los Angeles Country Club (Jeff Haynes/USGA)

Rory McIlroy believes he has taken steps of progress over the last month as he looks to end a nine-year major drought and lift his second US Open title at Los Angeles Country Club.

McIlroy was removed from the pre-tournament press conference schedule to avoid any uncomfortable questions regarding the PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and PIF merger. The four-time major champion missed the cut at the Masters, before suffering disappointing Sundays at the PGA Championship, the Memorial and the RBC Canadian Open as he saw his chances of a historic three-peat go up in smoke.

Still, it’s three successive top-10 finishes for the world number three who insists the signs are positive.


“I would say I’m building towards something,” McIlroy told Sky Sports. I’m certainly feeling a lot better coming into this major championship than I was going to Oak Hill.

“I sort of pieced it together around Oak Hill and did okay, but the last two performances – minus the two Sundays – have been really big steps of progress and it’s just about trying to build on that.”

McIlroy won his one and only US Open title in 2011 when he blitzed the field to win by a record eight shots in Congressional for his maiden major title. Since then, the 34-year-old has a mixed record including three missed cuts in a row before four top-10 finishes in a row.

“It’s great to have your name on a trophy like this,” McIlroy added. “It [2011] does feel like a lifetime ago and I honestly think it’s the best week of ball-striking I’ve ever had. I don’t know whether I’ve hit the ball better than that week.

“I’ve sort of had my ups and downs in this tournament as the years have gone by, but I feel like I’ve figured it out. I’ve started to figure out how to handle US Open conditions and tests and I think there’s certainly a lot more patience in my game than there used to be.”

McIlroy tees off alongside PGA Champion Brooks Koepka and former Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama.


Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

More News

Leave a comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.