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McIlroy satisfied by Scottish Open display as Royal Portrush looms

Despite finishing nine shots back from Bernd Wiesberger, the 30-year-old got some valuable links practice in ahead of The Open.

Four-time major winner, Rory McIlroy.
Four-time major winner, Rory McIlroy.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

RORY MCILROY EXPRESSED some level of satisfaction from his week’s work at the Scottish Open despite finishing nine shots off winner, Bernd Wiesberger.

Having taken a week’s break for this month’s Irish Open in Lahinch, the 30-year-old teed it up at The Renaissance Club and picked up some valuable links practice ahead of this week’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush.

All eyes will be on McIlroy and Graeme McDowell as they look to add to their major haul on home soil and speaking after yesterday’s final round in North Berwick, the Holywood golfer took the positives from his week’s work.

“I think I got what I wanted out of it for the most part,” he told reporters. “I would have loved to have been in the thick of things going into Sunday, but probably just made a few too many mistakes over the week to do that.

“But I’ve learnt a lot this week. It’s the first time playing links golf in a while. Just, you know, different turf, ball goes different distances into the wind.

“Little lies around the greens, all that sort of stuff. That just takes you a while to get used to again. I think it’s been a productive week.

Obviously not the finish I would have wanted, but I’m really happy with what I’ve done this week, and happy to be going to Portrush.”

Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open - Day Three - The Renaissance Club Rory McIlroy has won the Canadian Open and the Players Championship already this year. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

With two wins on tour this season already – the Players Championship and the Canadian Open – alongside a host of top five and top 10 finishes, McIlroy is yet to make a serious impact on the major front.

Both US Open and Masters campaigns have slipped away from him, but the Northern Irishman insists he isn’t feeling any additional pressure by a ‘home Open’.

“I think it’s going to feel normal. It’s going to feel like just another Open Championship. I’ve played in a few of them now, I know what to expect.

Might be a little louder. Atmosphere might be a bit different but the objective is the same, to go there and play good golf and hopefully give myself a chance to win the Claret Jug.”

He continued: “[To win in Portrush] would be right up there. At this point in my career, I don’t want to sit back and look at things too much.

“I mean, I’m on a journey and this journey, it started 11 or 12 years ago and hopefully I still have another 15 or 20 years left in it. It’s part of the journey. It’s part of doing what I do.

“But you know, if I’m being honest, it would obviously mean the world to me. But just like winning Hoylake meant the world to me, as well. Just getting my hands on that Claret Jug again would be a huge accomplishment.”

A win in Antrim this week would take McIlroy’s major tally to five and would mark his first success in a major championship since 2014. He holds the course record at Portrush after carding an 11-under par 61 in 2005.

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