McIlroy targets Scottish Open boost before turning attention to Portrush

Special tournament 2014 winner Rory Mc Ilroy with Claret Jug

Special tournament 2014 winner Rory Mc Ilroy with Claret Jug

"If I went back 10 years to when I was starting off and I thought that in 10 years' time, this is what you've achieved and this is where you're going to be in the game, how would you go out and play?"

"I do remember when someone first told me about that round because you often hear about the next great thing", McDowell said.

"Yes, the stands are up and it looks fantastic, but it's still the same golf course".

"I want to enjoy the experience and take it in as well, not have my blinkers on the whole time, look to the right of me, look to the left of me, see all these fans, see all these people who have come out to support me and if I'm able to play some good golf that I have been doing all year and give myself a chance". We played the Irish Open there in 2012.

"I'm sort of treating it like a once in a lifetime opportunity". I need to relax and I need to just sort of let it go.

But obviously next week is a huge thing in his life, a feeling underlined by his trip home for the first time in eight months last weekend.

"It's amusing. I keep thinking back and in that stretch of golf there's two tough holes, the 14th (Calamity Corner), which is now the 16th, and then the old 16th, which is now the 18th".

"They are two pretty good factors and I just need to keep reminding myself of that I guess".

Despite an understandable barrage of Royal Portrush questions in his pre-tournament press conference, McIlroy was at pains to stress his full focus is on this week's Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.

Woods' sharpness is an unknown having not played since the US Open, and we think he needed the course to have dried out more than it has. "It seems like into the greens, you can't play many shots on the ground". His affinity with the Dunluce Links course goes back to his time spent there as a youth watching his father, Gerry, play the course in the annual North of Ireland Amateur.

"He obviously does put a lot of extra emphasis on the majors and it works for him, but when I try to put extra emphasis on tournaments, it nearly goes the other way for me. That's the best way to prepare for next week, to feel the heat of competition". I honestly think this peaking for majors is a little bit of a myth. I think most tournaments deserve to stand on their own two feet and have some stature, and the Scottish Open is one of these events on the European Tour.

But he has no plans to heap further pressure on himself by putting all his focus on the majors in the style of Brooks Koepka, the world No 1 who seems to save all his effort for the four big events.

"I remember I birdied both of those and I'd probably pay a lot of money for two birdies on those holes in a few days' time".

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