Rory McIlroy plans US Open scouting mission at Pinehurst

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy will spend the next two days at Pinehurst prepping ahead of the US Open June 12-15.

“It’s going to be a different U.S. Open. It’s going to be a U.S. Open we aren’t used to seeing in terms of how it plays off the tee,” said the 2011 champion who finished the Memorial tournament on six under par.

“You’re going to have to use a lot of imagination around the greens, bump it into slopes, putt up the hills. There’s going to be a lot of visualization and imagination needed.

“And that’s why I’m going to go up there early and see what I need, what different shots I need around the greens.

“But from what I hear, I’m looking forward to the fairways being a little more generous than they usually are at a U.S. Open and it will encourage guys to get driver in their hand.

“It’s going to be a long golf course and you can be aggressive off the tee, which obviously I like.

“So I am really looking forward to seeing it next week and seeing what type of challenges it’s going to present.”

The 2010 champion, Graeme McDowell, has already completed his reconnaissance of the North Carolina venue.

“I really enjoyed it,” he told Pinehurst Resort.

“First and foremost, it was very difficult. It’s great to be back at Pinehurst.

“[The] 2005 [US Open] was the first major championship cut I ever made. I have good memories here at Pinehurst but it is a very different looking golf course that what I remember in ‘05.

“The restoration is amazing. I just love the sight lines and the way everything frames up right now. Standing on tee boxes and seeing the edges and really feeling some of these fairways, it’s a great test of golf.

“It feels like I’m in the sand belt in Melbourne. It feels like I am at Kingston Heath sometimes. It really does feel more like a British Open than a US Open around the greens.

“I’d certainly take level par and sit in the clubhouse.”