McIlroy confident ahead of 151st Open Championship

Rory McIlroy says he is feeling confident ahead of the 151st Open Championship, with the Northern Irishman hoping to end a nine-year Major Championship trophy drought at Royal Liverpool.

The 34-year-old comes into the event off the back of his second Rolex Series triumph of the season after producing a brilliant birdie-birdie finish to seal the Genesis Scottish Open, six months after winning the Dubai Desert Classic.

That triumph makes him one of the red-hot favourites at Hoylake this week, coupled with the fact that Royal Liverpool was the host venue the last time McIlroy won a Major Championship in 2014.

Could this tournament finally mark the end of his Major silverware drought?

“I think regardless of whether I won or not [in Scotland], I would have come in here confident with the way I’ve played over the last sort of month and a half,” McIlroy explained.

“My game feels like it’s in good shape, but I think seeing the way I played last week and being able to control my ball in pretty difficult conditions, and I feel good about that coming into this week.”

Difficult conditions could come into play once again this week, with rain forecast for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while gusts could reach up to 20mph.

However, things were calmer on Monday and Tuesday morning when McIlroy got his first taste of the course since hoisting the Claret Jug nine years ago.

“It [Royal Liverpool] is in superb condition,” McIlroy said. “It’s basically how I remember it. It’s a very strategic golf course off the tee.

“It’s very, very well bunkered and I think the biggest challenge of this golf course is avoiding those pot bunkers off the tee.

“Just getting really comfortable with the clubs you’re hitting off certain tees and whether you challenge the bunkers or not or lay back, it’s a very strategic golf course, which I like. You really have to think your way around it.”

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