Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

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.

• USGA responds to talk of players boycotting US Open

• Jason Day brands himself an “underachiever”

“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. 

Rory At Pebble Beach

“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.”

• Zach Johnson gets hilarious punishment on greens at Pebble

• “Somebody should have got fired” – Brooks unhappy at slight

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.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses