McIlroy: It’s a good time to back me

Rory McIlroy has encouraged fans to back him after hearing how low his odds were for the Open Championship.

After successive missed cuts in Ireland and Scotland, the Northern Irishman has seen his odds drift in recent weeks, but he remains defiant about his chances at Royal Birkdale.

With the rib problems that hampered him earlier in the season no longer an issue, McIlroy is adamant his best form isn't far away.

Told at a press conference on Wednesday that he was now being offered at odds of 20/1 by some bookmakers, McIlroy replied: "Well it's a good time to back me, I think, at 20/1.

"Look, if I was a betting company and I saw my form over the past few weeks, you would say, yeah, that's probably a fair enough price. But, again, all it takes is one week for those odds to go back to, I don't know, 7/1 or 8/1 at Quail Hollow? So as I say, it's a good week to back me."

McIlroy is confident that he has been putting the work in off the course and that a turnaround in form can't be far away.

"I'm sticking to what I know, which is working hard on my game and feeling like I'm doing the right things, just trying to stay as patient as possible, and enjoy the process of trying to improve and trying to get better and trying to prepare for tournaments and hit the shots that I'm going to need for that week.

"It hasn't quite happened for me over the past couple of weeks, but as I keep saying, it doesn't feel that far away. And because I haven't played that much, the only thing I can really do is take some sort of confidence from what I'm seeing in practice, and sometimes that doesn't quite translate to what happens on the course.

"And that's sort of been the case for the last few months. But obviously it's been hard to get any sort of momentum with an injury and not being able to practice as much as you'd like.

"But I'm in good spirits. I feel like it's all coming together and I'm just waiting for that round or that moment or that week where it sort of clicks and I'll be off and running. I've had little periods like this before in my career, and I've been able to bounce back from them.

"I'd say I was in worse positions than this. I feel like my game, the pieces are all there, it's just about trying to fit them together."

While former PGA champion Steve Elkington accused McIlroy of looking bored after missing the cut at the US Open, he says his motivation to perform is as strong as ever.

"I want to win this week, I don't need to win," he added. "A second Open Championship isn't going to change my life, but I want to win. I'm still as ambitious now as I was starting off my career, if not more so now because I know what I've achieved and I know what I can achieve, so it only makes you want to do that even more.

"At Carnoustie 10 years ago, if someone told me you'd be a four-time major winner and you won The Open, and you're one leg away from the career Grand Slam, you've played on three winning Ryder Cup teams, you've won the Order of Merit three times in Europe, you've won the FedExCup in the States … I'd be, like, yeah, I'll take that! That's pretty good.

"But having that success, you only want to do that more. And you want to emulate that and you want to do it again and again and again. So I definitely haven't lost the hunger that I've always had."