McIlroy looking to take the pressure off

McIlroy looking to take the pressure off

Rory McIlroy has said he is looking to take the pressure off himself to improve on his performances ahead of the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

The world number eight said he was putting too much pressure on his game to build on impressive rounds.

It comes after the Holywood man scored a record-breaking opening round at the Scottish Open only to drop down the leaderboard following a disastrous second round.

McIlroy said: "I'm maybe putting too much pressure on myself going out on Friday and trying to back up a good score.

"I've no problem shooting a low one on a Thursday, so there is no reason why I should have any problems shooting a low one on Friday."

The two-time major winner admitted he was in a "better place" than earlier in the year.

The 25-year-old added: "I'm just focusing on my golf at the moment and making that the number one priority.

"Am I in a better place? I'm happy with everything that's going on.

"I've got a big stretch of tournaments coming up. I've got obviously this week and then go back over to the States and World Golf Championship and then the US PGA and all the FedEx Cup play-offs and the Ryder Cup.

"There's a lot to keep me busy and just looking forward to that stretch of golf coming up so yeah, I'm happy."

Meanwhile fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell has his sights set on the Claret Jug.

"I'd give my left arm for the Claret Jug. I would, actually. That would be the end of my career, but it would be a nice way to go," McDowell joked on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old from Portrush, which is expected to stage the Open in 2019, won the US Open at Pebble Beach in 2010 and was joint second at Olympic Club in 2012 before securing his best Open finish of joint fifth a month later at Royal Lytham.

"I feel like I'm ready to kick on to the next chapter in my career now and compete and win more major championships," McDowell added.

"I certainly don't want to be a one-hit wonder and I've learned a lot over the last few years since my US Open victory.

"This is my kind of golf course this week and I want to give myself as many opportunities as I can to win majors. Winning regular tournaments is hard enough, winning the majors is something different, something special.

"I'd love a Claret Jug. Probably that and the green jacket (given to Masters champions) are probably neck and neck, but the Claret Jug is probably the one that I feel like I have the game to win as opposed to the Masters."


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