Rory McIlroy plans rethink over majors strategy after Open disappointment

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy.
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Rory McIlroy admits he must reassess his majors strategy after his emotional missed cut at the Open Championship last week.

McIlroy’s last major victory - his fourth - came five years ago at the 2014 US PGA Championship and his most recent appearance on that stage ended in tears.

The 30-year-old Northern Irishman toiled in an opening 79 at Royal Portrush Golf Club and, although the home favourite fought back with a second-round 65, he missed the cut by a single shot.

“I think I’ve learned a lot in the four majors this year in terms of how I’ve started, how I’ve played in them, how I’ve tried to approach them,” McIlroy said, ahead of again taking on the world’s best at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.

“I almost tried to downplay the majors this year, tried to treat them like every other event and I’ve realised they’re not.

“You need to have a certain mindset, you need to prepare differently. I tried a sort of different strategy this year, it didn’t quite work for me. I just have to reassess that going forward.”

McIlroy did not touch a club between his overwhelming Friday afternoon on the Antrim coast and Wednesday practice at TPC Southwind - partly due to moving house. But he is eager to pick up a third WGC title over a new course for the event.

“I sort of like these events that have no cut,” McIlroy was quoted as saying by the official European Tour website.

“You sort of go out there and freewheel from the start. Not that you should have really any sort of a different attitude in regular events, but I’ve always enjoyed the golf courses that the WGCs have been at.

“Obviously this tournament was in Akron, not here, but I think it’s gone from a very strong golf course to another strong golf course. I enjoy Mexico now, that’s another good stop.

“I like the World Golf Championships. It’s some of the strongest fields of the year and you’re playing with the strongest players from the get-go.”