• Rory: I’ve been longing for ‘true’ US Open venue

    Rory McIlroy to play NGC 2018
    He's not out of the race

    Rory McIlroy starts Thursday’s US Open fit and mentally over his Masters meltdown on a course that he has been longing to play.

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    An indifferent 2017 which saw the Northern Irishman go without a win and drop out of the top 10 was followed by a miss at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and then his much-publicised Masters act which saw him drop rapidly from the picture with the career slam on the line.

    ‘I’m heading to the US Open playing some of my best golf and I am injury-free so I can’t see why I can’t repeat what I did at Congressional,’ he said, according to Irish Golfer.

    ‘Looking back on the Masters this year, I simply didn’t put any pressure on Patrick [Reed] over that final round and if I did, it may have been a different outcome.’

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    McIlroy set the lowest 72-hole score and lowest score in relation to par when storming to the 2011 US Open title at Congressional Country Club and is looking to draw on the positives of that experience this week.

    ‘The thing also is that Shinnecock Hills is one of my favourite golf courses in the world and while Congressional will always be very special in having won my first Major there, I am just looking forward to Shinnecock so much.

    ‘I got to play the golf course four years ago and I just enjoyed the experience so much. Ever since then, I’ve been longing for this week’s US Open to arrive.

    ‘Shinnecock is a very tactical golf course and it is a true US Open venue.’

    McIlroy is joined on Thursday by this week’s career slam chasing pack including Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth, who has his chance at completing the slam at the PGA Championship later in the year.

    The star duo tee off at 2:02pm.

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