In Memphis, McIlroy looks for his game
Rory McIlroy tends not to play a tournament the week before a major. Then again, he tends not to miss three straight cuts.
With his game in need of a tune up, McIlroy added the St. Jude Classic to his schedule to play a few more competitive rounds before the U.S. Open. He is among 29 players in Memphis getting ready for the Open by competing, even though no one has won a PGA Tour event and then the U.S. Open the following week.
“I feel like that’s just what I need ... especially going into next week,” McIlroy said Wednesday after his pro-am practice round. “But I mean I would love to play well here and obviously try and win the tournament, and that would give me a great confidence boost going into next week.”
McIlroy won The Honda Classic in March and lost in a playoff at Quail Hollow that returned him to No. 1 in the world. Then, he missed the cut in The Players Championship, the BMW PGA Championship in England and the Memorial. He hadn’t missed three consecutive cuts since August 2008 when he was ranked No. 164 in the world.
After missing the cut last week at Memorial, McIlroy flew to San Francisco and spent four days at Olympic trying both to learn the course and find the form that helped him run away in winning the U.S. Open at Congressional a year ago. McIlroy called it a very productive time with his coach, Michael Bannon, learning the course and preparing for the Open.
McIlroy showed Wednesday he hits the ball very well at times with three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 No. 16. Then he gave a glimpse of his struggles by hitting into the water on No. 18 for a double bogey.
“The most important thing is that you see encouragement and you see glimpses of the great golf that you can play,” McIlroy said. “It’s just about eliminating the bad ones.”