McIlroy can handle the pressure

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Rory McIlroy believes he’ll be able handle the expectations that come with winning his first major at age 22.

Rory McIlroy believes he’ll be able handle the expectations that come with winning his first major at age 22.

The US Open champ well and truly lived up to the hype surrounding him at Congressional last week, completing a wire-to-wire eight-shot victory over the rest of the field and breaking a whole host of records in the process.

So emphatic was his victory that it has drawn comparisons to Tiger Woods and his remarkable rise to ascendancy, but the youngster from Northern Ireland doesn’t think the weight of the expectations to follow will be a problem for him.

With the Open less than a month away, the spotlight is only set to intensify on McIlroy, and he’s confident he’ll be able to cope with it.

“With success comes expectation. I know expectations on me are pretty high now, but I expect big things of myself anyway,” he told Sky Sports News.

“As long as I keep committed and and dedicated, I don’t see any reason why I won’t handle it (extra pressure) well.”

McIlroy, who was speaking at his home club Holywood on the outskirts of Belfast, also said that last week was the best he’d ever played.

“Last week was fabulous. The golf I played – I’ve never played before in my life,” he said.

“I always wanted to believe that I could win a major, but until you do, you never know. It feels great.”

His victory means the coveted US Open trophy gets to stay in Northern Ireland for another year, coming as it does after his countryman Graeme McDowell’s victory at Pebble Beach last year.

“To think a European hadn’t won it for 40 years until Graeme did and now the two of us went back-to-back – it’s great,” he said proudly.

“To grow up in tough conditions here, which there is at a US Open, helped us I think.

“But I don’t think you can explain back-to-back US Open winners from a country with population of 1.5 million.”

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