Published Tuesday, 17 July 2012
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Speaking at Royal Lytham on Tuesday, the 23-year-old said his recent dip in form was little more than a "blip in the radar" and nothing to do with his superstar relationship.
"There's never been any distractions. I got to world number one after I won a major so I don't think my game's completely went off," he said.
"Everyone has bad spells and I had a couple of bad weeks where I didn't play so well, but it was just a little blip on the radar.
"I feel like this would be a great week to play well."
Looking back to the Irish Open at Royal Portrush two weeks ago, McIlroy said he had learned some lessons from his performance.
"At Portrush I felt like I played well in the bad conditions. If it's like that again this week you're just going to have to knuckle down and focus and keep fighting."
This time last year, McIlroy was coming off the back of his first Major win at the US Open, and was under a much more intense spotlight. But this year, things are noticeably calmer for the golfer.
"It's been lovely just going about my business - definitely not the madness that was going on last year.
"It's nice. I've tried to keep it as low-key as possible and feel like I've done that pretty well.
"Obviously people still come up and want photos and stuff, but the commotion's definitely not as bad."
Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell told UTV he remains hopeful that a fellow NI golfer will take home the Open title.
"We've got four or five great opportunities to win the Claret Jug this week as Northern Irish men and double that up with some great Irish players as well," he said.
"We'd love to keep the Northern Irish purple patch running and I would dearly love the Claret Jug to be coming back up that direction."