Rory McIlroy on His Come-to-Jesus Moment After Poor Performances at the US Open

Rory McIlroy enters the US Open with huge ambitions.

by Sead Dedovic
Rory McIlroy on His Come-to-Jesus Moment After Poor Performances at the US Open
© Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Sport

Rory McIlroy is preparing for a new appearance at the US Open. The Northern Irishman is always a major topic of discussion and debate before the Majors, and this time is no different. Rory McIlroy won the U.S. Open in 2011. He claimed his victory at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, with a record-breaking score of 16-under-par 268. This was McIlroy's first major championship win. 

Looking from this perspective, Rory appeared significantly better than now, or at least we can say he was more efficient. 

In an interview with the media before another US Open, McIlroy reflected on his previous performances, revealing what he expects from this year's appearance. The 35-year-old golfer is not happy with his performances from some previous years, where he didn't understand what was happening to him. 

However, in the last few years, McIlroy has been much better, which gives optimism that this year he could potentially surprise and win the trophy. Some might say it would be a surprise, but the fact that McIlroy is the second favorite to win the US Open suggests it wouldn't be a surprise at all. Still, the pressure that builds up day by day on this great golfer is why some are skeptical about this Major and Rory's chances.

“I feel like I really struggled at U.S. Open setups, 2016, ’17, ’18 in particular. I sort of had a bit of a I guess come-to-Jesus moment after that, tried to really figure out why that was.

Then my performances from 2019 and after that have been really, really good.

Yeah, excited to be back. I really enjoyed Pinehurst last time. We were here in 2014. Just got in, so I’m looking forward to seeing the golf course this afternoon.”- Rory McIlroy said, as quoted by Irish Golfer.

McIlroy is returning to the course where he had the opportunity to compete 10 years ago. The Northern Irishman remembers this golf course with nostalgia and highlights what might be the main challenge when it comes to playing on this course. McIlroy is cautious and aware that he will not have an easy task.

“I would say for this golf course, it will be around the greens. From what I remember in 2014, it’s obviously generous off the tee in terms of the playing corridors that you’re asked to hit it into. If you hit it outside of those, you can get yourself into trouble, this sandy waste area.“- he continued.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy© Andrew Redington/Getty Images Sport

McIlroy explained that, like most Donald Ross-designed courses, the area around the greens will require the most effort and strategy. He noted that ten years ago, Martin Kaymer excelled on this course by using the putter quite well. McIlroy emphasized the importance of determining which shots he feels most comfortable with around the greens, considering this a crucial aspect of his preparation in the next 36 hours.

His colleague, Bryson DeChambeau, stresses that playing "boring golf" is necessary for success at this Major. McIlroy thinks it is crucial to get accustomed to the conditions on this course and adapt accordingly. As an experienced figure in the golf world, McIlroy believes that patience will be an important factor, which he certainly aims to demonstrate in another edition of the US Open. The 35-year-old has carefully analyzed the situation and surely knows what needs to be done to achieve success.

“Yeah, I would say embracing the difficult conditions, embracing the style of golf needed to contend at a U.S. Open, embracing patience. Honestly, embracing what I would have called “boring” back in the day.“- McIlroy said.

Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, and Rory McIlroy could lead the way

Bookmakers and fans are placing their highest hopes on Scottie Scheffler, a golfer who has been impressing everyone since the beginning of this year. The 27-year-old American seems far ahead of everyone at the moment, and his colleagues will have a challenging task to prevent him from winning another trophy. As we have already mentioned, McIlroy is the tournament's second favorite, with huge expectations from the fans. Finally, there is Xander Schauffele, a golfer who has also been playing greatly lately and intends to win another Major.

Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler
Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler© Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport

McIlroy commented that trying to keep up with top players like Scheffler and Schauffele if they're playing well, is a positive challenge. He finds it exciting to be part of a group that includes the top three players in the world. Reflecting on the past, he recalled watching Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Adam Scott play together at Torrey Pines when he failed to qualify for that tournament.

The greatest attention will be focused on three excellent golfers. However, Majors are such that a 'new' name can always emerge and disrupt the favorites' plans. We will see what happens this time.

Rory Mcilroy Us Open