Rory McIlroy views next week’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush as a great opportunity to win a major championship in his homeland.
McIlroy played a key role in helping Royal Portrush stage The Open for the first time since 1951 and is hoping it can become a regular venue, although he knows that is far from a certainty. The four-time major winner and former world number one is chasing his third win of 2019, having already bagged the Players Championship and the RBC Canadian Open.
“I’m sort of treating it like a once in a lifetime opportunity but I still have to enjoy it. I can’t put so much pressure on myself. I’ve made that mistake before at tournaments and it hasn’t quite worked out for me,” he told Sky Sports.
“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.”
Having won at Royal Liverpool in 2014, McIlroy is eager for a second Claret Jug and he knows Portrush – where he owns the course record of 61 – is a huge chance that might not come by again.
“It’s been 68 years since Open Championships going to Portrush, it might be another 68 years until we get it again, who knows, hopefully not, hopefully it’s a huge success and it becomes part of The Open rota,” he added.
McIlroy is 9.50 to win the Open Championship next week, with recent Irish Open champion Jon Rahm 15.00 to land his maiden major championship victory.