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Rory McIlroy’s appearance at the Genesis Scottish Open next week will be his first since last month’s US Open heartbreak.

The 35-year-old looked set to end his ten-year major drought at Pinehurst No.2 before seeing the title slip through his hands.

McIlroy – a four-time major champ – was outdueled by Bryson DeChambeau in North Carolina after holding a two-shot lead with five holes to play.

Three dropped shots in his final four holes led to a speedy exit from the Donald Ross-designed venue, with McIlroy later sharing his disappointment in a social media statement.

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“Yesterday (Sunday) was a tough day,” he wrote. “Probably the toughest I’ve had in my nearly 17 years as a professional golfer.

“I’m going to take a few weeks away from the game and process everything and build myself back up for my defence of the Genesis Scottish Open and The Open at Royal Troon.”

But when he does return to East Lothian, he’ll be greeted by a welcome surprise.

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That’s because when McIlroy gets to the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, he’ll see a plaque on the 18th hole to commemorate his success in the Rolex Series event last year.

The plaque honours his 2-iron from 202 yards which set up the winning birdie, as he denied Robert MacIntyre a home win.

Jerry Sarvadi, founder of the club, told Golfweek that it was placed on Monday and that McIlroy has no idea.

“We’re going to tell him when he gets here,” Sarvadi said.

“He said, ‘When I turn 80, it will be one of the five best shots I hit in my entire career’.”

It was McIlroy’s debut in the tournament, co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour. He’ll defend his title before travelling a few hours west to North Ayrshire a week later.

The Open remains the last major championship McIlroy won, hoisting the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool in 2014.

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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