US Open: Rory McIlroy buoyed by Canadian Open success as he looks to end major drought in Brookline | Golf News

McIlroy has been grouped alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele for the first two rounds at The Country Club; Watch live throughout the week on Sky Sports Golf – live coverage begins on Thursday from 1pm

Last Updated: 14/06/22 8:50pm

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Rory McIlroy hopes he can reproduce the momentum he had on Sunday which saw him win the RBC Canadian Open, as he looks for a first major since 2014.

Rory McIlroy hopes he can reproduce the momentum he had on Sunday which saw him win the RBC Canadian Open, as he looks for a first major since 2014.

A resurgent Rory McIlroy is confident about the state of his game and his chances of ending his long major drought as he looks to follow his RBC Canadian Open victory with US Open success.

McIlroy came through a final-round tussle with playing partners Justin Thomas and Tony Finau to claim an impressive two-stroke victory in Toronto, his 21st PGA Tour title, with the success lifting him to world No 3 and making him the bookies’ favourite for the third major of the year.

No player has won a major the week after a PGA Tour victory since McIlroy achieved successive wins in 2014, although the four-time major champion is hoping to build on his impressive Canadian defence with another strong showing in Brookline.

 Rory McIlroy is chasing his second win in as many starts

Rory McIlroy is chasing his second win in as many starts

“It [winning] certainly puts a pep in your step,” McIlroy said in his pre-tournament press conference. “It gives you a lot of confidence.

“Going into last week, even coming off Memorial where I didn’t have my best week, I still knew my game was there. I still knew that I was playing well so, regardless whether I got, I think it was the fashion in which I won last week was what gave me the most pride.

Ahead of the US Open, Rory McIlroy says he has defended the PGA Tour amid the LIV Golf series controversy because he feels 'it is the right thing to do'.

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Ahead of the US Open, Rory McIlroy says he has defended the PGA Tour amid the LIV Golf series controversy because he feels ‘it is the right thing to do’.

Ahead of the US Open, Rory McIlroy says he has defended the PGA Tour amid the LIV Golf series controversy because he feels ‘it is the right thing to do’.

“Got a lead early in the back nine. Lost that lead. Was tied with two holes to go, and then I showed some really good resilience and birdied the last two holes to get the job done. I think that the fashion in which I won was what made me the proudest of the victory.

“I did the same thing in 2019 going into the US Open at Pebble Beach and played pretty well there. I didn’t play well enough to live with Gary [Woodland] that week, but I feel everything is certainly trending in the right direction, and I’m happy with where the game is at.”

Rory McIlroy says the controversy over players joining the LIV Golf Series will continue to fracture the game until agreements and compromises are reached.

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Rory McIlroy says the controversy over players joining the LIV Golf Series will continue to fracture the game until agreements and compromises are reached.

Rory McIlroy says the controversy over players joining the LIV Golf Series will continue to fracture the game until agreements and compromises are reached.

McIlroy’s first major victory came via a record-breaking margin at this event in 2011, with the former world No 1 winning the first of two PGA Championship titles the following year and also winning The Open in 2014.

The 33-year-old missed three consecutive cuts at this event from 2016 but has responded with top-10 finishes in his three US Open appearances since, with McIlroy also buoyed by a runner-up finish at The Masters earlier this season and a strong showing in last month’s PGA Championship.

“I think the start of my career was probably more feast-or-famine in the majors,” McIlroy added. “I would get hot and win or I would miss the cut by 10! There’s a little more consistency going on, but that doesn’t bring with it the glory that the wins do.

Ahead of this week's US Open, check out the top shots ever played at the tournament.

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Ahead of this week’s US Open, check out the top shots ever played at the tournament.

Ahead of this week’s US Open, check out the top shots ever played at the tournament.

“I’m getting back there, though. My last two showings in major championships have been pretty good. That run at Augusta and then the start at Southern Hills was a very welcome one considering the starts I’ve had previously in major championships.

“I’m getting back to a place where I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with my game and a lot more comfortable at the biggest and toughest tests in the world. I think my game is now at a place where I feel confident going to these golf courses, that are set up more difficult than everyday Tour events, and knowing that I have the game and the mentality to succeed on them.”

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Jon Rahm returns as defending champion after last year’s major breakthrough at Torrey Pines, where he birdied his final two holes to finish a shot clear of Louis Oosthuizen, with the Spaniard looking to become the first player since Brooks Koepka to successive editions of the same major.

Rahm has failed to contend in the first two majors of the year, ending tied-27th at The Masters and settling for a share of 48th at the PGA Championship, with the world No 2 relishing the opportunity for the chance to defend his title.

Jon Rahm says that he can understand the allure of joining the LIV Golf Series but says the competition format doesn't appeal to him.

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Jon Rahm says that he can understand the allure of joining the LIV Golf Series but says the competition format doesn’t appeal to him.

Jon Rahm says that he can understand the allure of joining the LIV Golf Series but says the competition format doesn’t appeal to him.

“There’s no extra pressure, no, I want to do it again,” Rahm said. “It’s pretty much the same as it’s always been, with the different factor being that I’ve already won a major. I feel like a lot of the pressure I used to put on myself is not really there.

“I feel like I can enjoy it a little bit more and know that you don’t need to do anything special to get it done – it’s easy to think you need to be playing perfect golf.

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“I remember watching my highlights of Sunday last year and I thought I played one of the best rounds of my life, but I kept thinking I cannot believe how many fairway bunkers I hit that day, how many greens I missed, and how many putts I missed!

“You know, it’s golf, and that’s how it is. You truly don’t have to play perfect and that’s I think the best lesson I can take from that. I think getting the first major was a big weight off my shoulders. I think the surprise is I didn’t expect it to be that.”

Who will win the US Open? Watch throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf!