Nostalgic Rory McIlroy relives memories of British Open debut
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Nostalgic Rory McIlroy relives memories of British Open debut

British Open champion in 2014, Rory Mcllroy missed the tournament the next year following a freak football accident, but has finished inside the top five in the last two championships

other sports Updated: Jul 18, 2018 23:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rory McIlroy,British Open,Open Championship
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy speaks to members of the media during a press conference at The 147th Open golf Championship at Carnoustie.(AFP)

Rory McIlroy was an 18-year-old amateur in his Open Championship debut in 2007. Eleven summers later, he is desperate to roll back the years as he hunts for his first Major win since the 2014 PGA Championship.

It’s not that he wants to have the same golf swing or the fuzzy hairstyle that made him so popular. The 29-year-old from Northern Ireland wants to have a similar mindset.

Open champion in 2014, he missed the tournament the next year following a freak football accident, but has finished inside the top five in the last two championships

“It’s great to be back. It doesn’t seem like 11 years ago that the Open was here last. Hopefully, I can create some more good memories this week,” said McIlroy, ranked eighth in the world with just one win (2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational) in the last two years.

“I think sometimes I need to get back to that attitude where I play carefree and just happy to be here. It was my first Open Championship. I was just trying to soak everything in and I was just so grateful to be here.

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“If you’re happy in what you’re doing and you’re happy to be here, a golf tournament is where I feel the most comfortable.

“I think sometimes with the pressure that’s maybe put on the top guys to perform at such a high level every week, it starts to weigh on you a little bit. But, yeah, like I look back at those pictures and the more I can be like that kid, the better.”

While many players talked about the danger of hitting the driver on a hard and bouncy Carnoustie, where the fairways seem to be faster than the greens, McIlroy said he won’t mind using the big club.

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“I guess the risk of hitting driver on a few holes is not having full control of your golf ball if it does run into the rough. But the amount of gorse bushes that they’ve taken away from this golf course, and the fairways are not necessarily narrow, and you have still got another five to ten yards either side of the fairway where it’s okay, a driver is all right,” added the four-time Major champion.

“It’s going to be interesting because the golf course is playing so firm and fast. There are some guys who will see it completely different than the way I see it and vice versa. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out.”

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 22:21 IST