GOLF: Flying start ‘imperative’ at Erin Hills says Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy believes it is “imperative” that he gets off to a flying start in the US Open as he looks to overcome an injury-hit campaign and win a fifth major title at Erin Hills.

McIlroy’s season has been thrown into disarray by the rib injury suffered during extensive club testing over the winter, which initially kept him sidelined for six weeks after losing a play-off in the South African Open.

The world number two finished seventh, fourth and seventh in his first three strokeplay events on his return, but a recurrence of the problem during the Players Championship saw him withdraw from the BMW PGA Championship and Memorial Tournament.

That means the 28-year-old has played just six events heading into the year’s second major championship, an event he won in record-breaking style in 2011 but one in which he has since missed the cut twice and recorded a solitary top-10 finish.

“If you look at how I’ve started the majors that I’ve won, I’ve sort of led from the front,” said McIlroy, who has either led or been one shot off the lead after the first round in each of his four major victories to date. So it is imperative for me to get off to a good start and I haven’t been able to do that.

“I’ve had a lot of time to think over the last few weeks and sort of figure out what I need to do to get back to winning majors and being in contention.

“I feel like if you prepare 100 per cent the right way, mentally that puts you in a great frame of mind.”