McIlroy has endured a frustrating year. PA Wire/PA Images
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'Broken record' McIlroy confident of finding form ahead of the Open

McIlroy goes in search of that elusive spark at this week’s Scottish Open.

RORY MCILROY JOKED he is beginning to sound like a “broken record” as he strives to regain his best form ahead of Thursday’s Scottish Open and next week’s Open Championship.

As world number four he tees up on the Dundonald Links course, on the Scottish west coast and just to the south of Glasgow, as the highest ranked player in the field.

However, four-time Major champion McIlroy is coming off the embarrassment of missing the halfway cut by four shots while hosting last week’s Irish Open.

He and his wife Erica took the two-hour ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan in Scotland on Monday, with McIlroy heading straight to the practice putting green upon his arrival.

“After catching the ferry, I got to the course here late Monday afternoon and did some putting on my own,” said McIlroy, who recorded 33 putts for each of his two rounds in Northern Ireland last week.

“I just was trying to figure out a couple things on my own and try to take ownership of what I’m really working on.

“I worked a lot on routine. I feel like I’ve become quite bogged down in technical thoughts a little bit.

“So, I need to focus more on my routine and how I approach a putt.”

McIlroy got his first look at Dundonald Links, which is hosting the event for the first time, on Tuesday morning for a full 18-hole practice round before contesting Wednesday’s Pro-Am.

It is the first time McIlroy is playing the event since 2014 when he shot a new course record 64 at Royal Aberdeen en route to sharing 14th place before then heading to Royal Liverpool and brilliantly claiming the Open Championship.

GOLF 2017 - Travelers Championship - Final Round Brian Ciancio Brian Ciancio

However, after a stop-start 2017 season beset by injuries and indifferent form, McIlroy is far from a favourite to win golf’s oldest major for a second occasion in four years.

He did finish in a share of seventh at The Masters but then horribly missed the cut in the US Open.

“My game is close but then it’s hard to sit up here and stand in front of a camera every single time and say to you guys it’s close, because I sound a bit of a broken record after a few weeks,” said a smiling McIlroy.

“But really, it’s not far away. I’m positive about it. I’m excited about my game. I feel like I’m doing a lot of good things.

“And again, it’s just putting it all together. Putting it all together, not just for one day but for four days; and not just for four days, to do it week-in and week-out.

“Look, I’ve got a busy summer coming up. I’m potentially playing seven weeks out of eight or seven weeks out of nine. I’ve got a busy stretch coming up and I’m excited to play.”

McIlroy will contest the opening two rounds at Dundonald Links in the company of good friend Rickie Fowler, who won the event in 2015, and defending Open champion Henrik Stenson.

© – AFP 2017

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