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Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

'It's one tournament that's missing from my CV' - McIlroy desperate to end Irish Open hoodoo

His record on home soil is less than impressive but there would be no better week to end that poor run.

McIlroy is looking forward to getting down to business on Friday.
McIlroy is looking forward to getting down to business on Friday.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

RORY MCILROY IS desperate to end his run of missed cuts at the Irish Open this week as he searches for the spark to ignite his season.

The world number three has failed to make the weekend at his home event in each of the last three years with his best performance coming in 2008 when he finished seventh.

McIlroy has been left frustrated by a series of missed chances this year with the Northern Irishman waiting for his first win since November 2015.

He’s blown hot and cold, showing glimpses of his best and threatening to challenge, but ultimately failing to bring everything together when it matters most.

There would be no better week than this to rediscover his mojo, and McIlroy is hungry to put on a good show at the event he hosts.

“The Irish Open, it always was, but even more so now, it’s become one of the most important weeks of the year for me,” he said, at Wednesday’s press conference at The K Club.

“Obviously for a couple of different reasons. We’re here to try and raise as much money as we possibly can for three local charities in the Dublin area, but also it’s a tournament that I desperately would love to win one day.

“My performances in this event haven’t been to what I would obviously want. I want to really change that this week with a good performance and I feel like my game is in good enough shape to do that.

Rory McIlroy It remains to be seen whether his extra commitments as event host will have an effect on his game. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“Coming off a couple decent weeks in the States where I felt like I played better than what the results suggested, so I’m looking forward to the week. The K Club here is a golf course where I feel like I can do well on. It sets up well for me.

“Whether it’s an American dreaming of winning the US Open or a German or a Spaniard or whatever. Winning your home open in front of your home crowd, your home fans, you don’t get very many opportunities to do it, so it would be very special.

“Being able to do it in front of everyone that has supported me all throughout the years. It’s definitely one tournament that is missing from my CV that I would love to add.”

McIlroy begins his challenge alongside defending champion Soren Kjeldsen and Andy Sullivan at 1.25pm tomorrow.

The four-time Major winner will be relieved to finally get down to business after a busy week of off-course commitments.

His hectic schedule may have played a part in his disappointing performance 12 months ago and the 27-year-old says he’s learned from those mistakes this time around.

“I think there was times where I spread myself a little bit too thin last year with a lot of commitments and we’ve tried to scale that back a little bit this year,” McIlroy explained.

“Last night with the Q&A (with Sir Alex Ferguson in Dublin) was one of the biggest things I had to do, but once the tournament starts I really don’t have many other commitments, so I’m trying to really focus on the tournament when we get going.”

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Ryan Bailey

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