Irvine, Scotland — Rory McIlroy is recreating his British Open build-up from 2014 in an attempt to rediscover some form for another shot at the claret jug at Royal Birkdale next week.
In the week before winning at Hoylake three years ago, McIlroy took the ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland, played the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen and stumbled on a successful formula with his putting to take to the British Open.
Fast forward to this summer and the four-time major champion is looking to get out of a rut by playing the Scottish Open — the leading warmup event for the British Open — for the first time since 2014. Again, he took the ferry across to Scotland and he has also been working on simplifying his putting routine, after getting “bogged down in technical thoughts.”
“The Open Championship is eight days away … I need to see good signs in my golf game going in there to have a bit of confidence,” the No. 4-ranked McIlroy said Wednesday at Dundonald Links, a course in west Scotland that is hosting the Scottish Open for the first time.
McIlroy had two separate periods out this year with a rib injury before missing the cut at two of his last three events — the U.S. Open at Erin Hills last month and then at last week’s Irish Open when he said his short game was not sharp enough.
By continuing to insist his best form is “close” — he said it again Wednesday — McIlroy acknowledged that he is starting to sound like a “broken record.”
“I’m excited about my game. I feel like I’m doing a lot of good things.”
“I’ve gone through little periods like this in the past, and I’ve hit form and I’ve been able to run with it and sort of ride on the crest of a wave for a few months. I feel like that’s not too far away.”
Eight of the world’s top 23 have chosen to play competitive golf at the Scottish Open rather than practice in the week leading up to Royal Birkdale.
Trish Johnson completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Senior LPGA Championship, closing with a 1-over 73 to beat Michelle Redman by three strokes in the first-year event at French Lick, Indiana.
Johnson finished at 4-under 212 on French Lick Resort’s Pete Dye Course and earned $90,000.