Golf: McIlroy hoping to find form at St. Jude

The Down man will warm up for the defence of his US Open crown in sweltering Memphis conditions alongside Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell.

Image: Jay LaPrete/AP/Press Association Images

DEFENDING CHAMP HARRISON Frazar and world No. 2 Rory McIlroy will both be hoping to find their form at this week’s St. Jude Classic.

The Memphis event is the final tune up for the second major of the year.

Reigning US Open champ McIlroy is playing the $5.6 million St. Jude for just the second time after deciding a couple of weeks ago that he would head to Memphis in order to get some extra playing time ahead of next week’s US Open.

“I just feel like I’ve lacked competitive rounds a little bit,” McIlroy said. “I’m still confident in my abilities. It’s just a matter of working hard and trying to bring it up a level from where it has been the last couple of weeks.”

McIlroy missed the cut last week at the Memorial. He hasn’t broken par in his last three starts, two on the PGA Tour and one on the European Tour. He missed the cut in all three starts.

But he says he got in a full weekend of practice with his coaches and hopes it pays off with better scores from now on.

“I am hoping to get in another competitive tournament before next week. It would be nice to turn around my form,” he said.

Among those McIlroy will be locking horns with this week are the 40-year-old Frazar, who began the season with a pair of top-five finishes in Hawaii, but has not cracked the top-25 since.

“I have had some issues with the left hip,” Frazar said.

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“It hasn’t been a breeze. There are times when I needed to go home and take time off. Right now I am in a phase where I am not feeling my best but it is manageable. I am doing the best I can. I am not 25 anymore.”

Frazar needed three playoff holes to beat Robert Karlsson and collect his first PGA Tour title last year. It marked the second straight year Karlsson was a playoff runner-up at the tournament.

Joining Frazar and McIlroy in the field will be former major champions Padraig Harrington, Zach Johnson, Davis Love and Graeme McDowell. Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker and Kyle Stanley could also contend.

© AFP, 2012

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