Rory McIlroy is chomping at the bit to get to next week’s Open Championship back in his home, Northern Ireland.
The Northern Irishman still holds the course record for the old course, firing a sizzling 61 in 2005 as a 16-year-old. This year will also be the first time The Open returns to the course since 1951.
“It’s spectacular, it’s unbelievable…it’s certainly a different golf course than the golf course I grew up playing!” the world number three told the Belfast Telegraph.
“It’s bigger, it’s tougher and obviously all the infrastructure out there. I’ve been looking at pictures posted on social media and the place looked stunning, but to get out here and experience it has really been worthwhile.”
— The Open (@TheOpen) 9 July 2019
McIlroy went on to praise his fellow countryman such has Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and to a lesser extent Irishman Padraig Harrington (sorry Paddy, it’s not your fault you were born in Ireland.), who all helped put the nation on the golfing map thanks to their major championship victories.
“I’m proud to feel as if I’ve played some small part in getting The Open Championship to Northern Ireland,” continued the four-time major winner.
“The success of Darren, Graeme, myself and Padraig as well was part of the reason why the R&A wanted to come here, and also the work done by the [club general manager] Wilma Erskine and the people of Portrush.
“There’s a lot of people that can be proud of themselves that The Open is at Royal Portrush.”
The 148th Open Championship tees off at Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim on July 18, where Francesco Molinari will look to defend his title.
Tiger Woods was very honest about the state of his game after his missed cut at The Open, but made it clear he’s not done winning either.
He so very nearly pulled off a remarkable escape act, but in the end Rory McIlroy left himself too much to do to make The Open cut.
After four straight missed cuts in the Open, Shane Lowry has well and truly turned things at Royal Portrush this week.
British hopes will be resting on Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose at The Open this weekend.
Despite a much better showing at The Open on Friday, an exhausted Tiger Woods admitted he couldn’t wait to get home after missing the cut.
Brooks Koepka isn’t sure why he’s not making any putts so far this week, but admitted he was “frustrated” and “disappointed” by it.
Golf analyst Brandel Chamblee didn’t hold back when describing Rory McIlroy’s first-round performance at the Open Championship on Thursday.
A closing birdie handed JB Holmes a one-shot lead over Shane Lowry at the Open on Thursday, but Brooks Koepka is right behind them.
Tiger Woods more than likely won’t be a factor at Portrush this week, after an opening 78 left him right near the bottom of the leaderboard.