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Rory McIlroy has decided not to hold a press conference ahead of The Open.

McIlroy, who won the Scottish Open on Sunday when he birdied the final two holes at Renaissance to pip Robert MacIntyre by a shot, was scheduled to be in the media centre’s interview room at 9am on Tuesday.

A statement from the R&A sent out on Monday afternoon read: “We have been advised that Rory McIlroy will no longer be taking part in a preview press conference tomorrow morning.

“We apologise for the inconvenience but will be endeavouring to secure preview quotes which will be made available for media use.”

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McIlroy did, however, speak to Sky Sports on the driving range at Royal Liverpool – the venue of his first and, to date, only Open title.

“It feels like such a long time ago,” the 2014 Champion Golfer told Di Stewart. “I was trying to rekindle the memories as I was driving from the airport last night and onto the Wirral.

“I haven’t been here since 2014, so I’m just trying to get those memories back and refamiliarise myself with the range, and the clubhouse and the first tee. It’s nice to come back. Anywhere you come back where you have success is always nice.”

McIlroy, who said he celebrated his Scottish Open win with “a couple of glasses of red wine”, added that he will have a “complete reset” as he looks to end his nine-year major drought.

“It’s a new week,” he said. “You almost try to forget about what happened 24 hours ago. I have a new goal, a new purpose, and we go again.

“If I get myself into a similar position this week, I will certainly draw on what I did last week, but as of right now and getting prepared for this tournament, all that has to be put on the backburner.

“I just have to focus on getting ready to tee off on Thursday.”

That might go some way to explaining his decision to skip his press conference. McIlroy was the PGA Tour’s lead mouthpiece as golf’s so-called civil war raged between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf and, with talks of a possible merger still whirring away in the background, it’s seems that McIlroy doesn’t want to spend half an hour of his preparation answering questions about Saudi Arabia’s potential takeover of golf’s top level.

The 34-year-old is instead focussing on putting his name on golf’s most desired trophy one more time.

McIlroy’s win at Renaissance meant he became the first player to win The Open, the Irish Open, and the Scottish Open.

“I’ve been playing the Scottish since I was 16, so it’s taken me 18 years to get it done,” McIlroy joked. “But that’s quite a nice stat – especially being from this part of the world. We’re all incredibly proud of our national Opens.”

author headshot

Alex Perry is the Associate Editor of bunkered. A journalist for more than 20 years, he has been a golf industry stalwart for the majority of his career and, in a five-year spell at ESPN, covered every sporting event you can think of. He completed his own Grand Slam at the 2023 Masters, having fallen in love with the sport at his hometown club of Okehampton and on the links of nearby Bude & North Cornwall.

Associate Editor

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