Rory McIlroy may have passed up his scheduled Tuesday morning press conference, but he did at least answer three questions with the media on the eve of the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
McIlroy, who won his sole Claret Jug when The Open last visited Hoylake in 2014, lines up in the final major of the season as a warm tournament favourite following his narrow one-stroke victory at the Scottish Open on Sunday.
His decision to skip a pre-tournament press conference marks a second major in a row.
Will Rory McIlroy etch his name on the famous Claret Jug for a second time at The Open this week?— GolfMagic (@GolfMagic) July 19, 2023
The newly-promoted World No.2 was clearly a fan of the course when he ran out a two-stroke victory over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia nine years ago, but McIlroy admits he has had to refamiliarise himself with the venue this week.
The Northern Irishman is seemingly all business as he bids to win his fifth major title and first since the 2014 US PGA Championship this week.
McIlroy is out with Jon Rahm and Justin Rose for the opening two rounds of The Open.
Here's the brief interview:
Q. Talk about coming here after the win last week.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it's certainly -- I think regardless of whether I won or not, I would have come in here confident with the way I've played over the last sort of month and a half.
My game feels like it's in good shape, but I think seeing the way I played last week and being able to control my ball in pretty difficult conditions, and I feel good about that coming into this week.
Q. Do the memories come flooding back from 2014 to build on this week?
RORY McILROY: A little bit. Maybe not as much as you would think. Over the past nine years a lot has happened in my life and I've played a lot of golf tournaments. But yeah, there's a few things that I remember, and it's nice to get back on to the golf course and sort of refamiliarise myself with it.
Q. What are your feelings on the course?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it's great. It's in superb condition. It's basically how I remember it. It's a very strategic golf course off the tee. It's very, very well bunkered and you sort of have to -- that's I think the biggest challenge of this golf course, is avoiding those pot bunkers off the tee.
Just getting really comfortable with the clubs you're hitting off certain tees and whether you challenge the bunkers or not or lay back, it's a very strategic golf course, which I like. You really have to think your way around it.
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