Rory McIlroy (file pic). Alamy Stock Photo

McIlroy bullish on British Open chances despite major drought

The world number three came agonisingly close to ending his long wait at last year’s event.

RORY MCILROY is confident he bears no mental scars from his latest near-miss in a major championship as he prepares to return to the scene of his British Open triumph at Hoylake.

The Northern Irishman secured his fourth major at the Royal Liverpool course in 2014, but has endured a nine-year drought since.

McIlroy came agonisingly close to ending his long wait both at last year’s British Open at St. Andrews and the US Open last month, where he finished one shot behind Wyndham Clark.

But the world number three has finished in the top 10 in six of his last seven major appearances and believes that consistency will soon have its reward.

“I was really happy with my performance (at the US Open). I thought I stuck to my game plan really well. I know my game is in good shape so, I’m excited about that,” said McIlroy, who is in action at the Scottish Open this week.

“I’m as close as I’ve ever been really. My consistency in performances, especially in the majors over the last couple years, is way better than it has been over the last few years.

“Having had a really good chance at St Andrews last year, having a really good chance in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, I need to keep putting myself in those positions.

“Obviously the more times I go through them, even though I’m not getting the wins, it’s going to stand by me for whenever I get myself in that position again.”

World number one Scottie Scheffler is also in action at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick this week as he gears up for the final major of the season.

Scheffler has been even more consistent on tour this year, winning the Phoenix Open and the prestigious Players Championship.

But the American has also fallen just short in the majors.

The 2022 Masters champion tied for 10th at Augusta before finishing joint second at the PGA Championship and third behind McIlroy at the US Open.

“Golf is one of those games that you’re never really satisfied, said Scheffler, who missed the cut at the Scottish Open 12 months ago.

“You always want more. I want to win every time I tee it up. You win once and you want to win twice.

“It’s funny, as a kid, if you think you win once on the PGA Tour you’ll be satisfied. And you win once and it’s pretty fun and you want to win again and the cycle continues.”

– © AFP 2023

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