Rory McIlroy is hoping that he can pick up at Pebble Beach where he left off in last weekend’s RBC Canadian Open and, in the process, solve an issue that has dogged him in recent major championships.
McIlroy romped to a seven-shot win to seal his 16th PGA Tour title at Hamilton Golf & Country Club just days ago, thanks in no small part to a stunning final round of 61 on Sunday.
He’s hoping that he can ride that momentum into this week’s US Open and set himself up for a first major victory in almost five years.
“I had a chat with Johnny Miller at the Champions Reunion last night and Johnny said, ‘You look at the history of major championships, that first round is so important’,” said McIlroy, winner of the US Open in 2011.
“My first rounds at Augusta and Bethpage this year just sort of put me a little bit behind the eight ball and it's hard to catch up. Especially as major championships are played on the toughest courses. When you start to chase on those really tough courses, it's hard to do that.”
He added: “The majors that I've won, I've started every single one of them really well, runs in sort of the mid-60s. If I can take that freedom that I played with on Saturday and Sunday last week and put that into tomorrow and play with that sort of freedom and get off to a good start, I'll be hopefully right in the tournament from the get-go and stay there.”