Rory McIlroy believes he can draw on his emphatic finish to the Scottish Open on Sunday if he gets himself into a position to win the Open Championship in Royal Liverpool.
McIlroy birdied the last two holes to pip home favourite Robert MacIntyre at the Renaissance Club and claim his first Scottish Open and while he has already shifted his focus to ending his nine-year major drought this week he knows he has positive thoughts to revert back to if he gets himself into the thick of contention this weekend.
“If I get myself into a similar position this week, I will certainly draw on what I did last week. But as of right now and getting prepared for this tournament, all that has to be put on the backburner and I just have to focus on getting ready to tee off on Thursday,” McIlroy told Sky Sports.
Changeable weather with consistently high winds is forecast for Hoylake this week. McIlroy led the field in strokes gained tee to green in Scotland, silencing many doubters who questioned his ability in the wind.
The four-time major champion had new Taylormade MG4 wedges in the bag last week and will be hoping for similar control in this year’s final major.
“Ball-striking wise, I think I led the field in stats from tee to green so that’s something. You know, very happy, iron play, wedge play, controlling my flight. Really happy with how I played some shots in the wind yesterday, you know, stuff that we might need this week.
“So just being in control of my ball flight, my swing, that was something I was really pleased with last week.”
The Holywood man is the defending course champion as he returns to the site of his maiden Claret Jug nine years ago and he spent Monday’s practice day reacclimatising to his surroundings as he played nine holes with Shane Lowry, Pádraig Harrington and Matt Wallace.
“So pulling in here today, I haven’t been here since 2014, so trying to get those memories back again and trying to re-familiarise myself with the range and the clubhouse, the first tee and kind of thing. It’s spread out a little bit but it’s nice to come back. Anywhere you’ve had success, it’s always a nice feeling.
“It’s a complete reset, basically, sort of getting back to the feels I had at the start of last week. Once we got into the weekend in Scotland, it got windy, you know, swings thoughts, everything sort of went out the window, just trying to get the ball around.
“So it’s a reset, it’s a new week, almost try and forget about what happened 24 hours ago. It’s a new week, I’ve got a new goal, a new purpose and you go again.”