Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy insists he has moved on from his disappointment at the Masters Tournament as he prepares for this year’s second Major - the US Open Championship at Congressional Country Club.

McIlroy took a four-shot lead into the final round at Augusta National in April, but went on to finish in a tie for 15th after a disastrous final-round 80.

The young Northern Irishman was understandably frustrated by his performance on Sunday, but believes he is now a better player for the experience, a point he aims to prove in Maryland this week.

No doubt it was a great experience for me,” he said. “I took the positives from that week.

“It's hard, it's the first time in that situation. You're going to be feeling the pressure a little bit, and I certainly did. I felt a little differently on the Sunday than I had done the previous few days, but that's natural. You're going to be natural. You're in with a great chance to win your first major and it just doesn't happen.

“You just move on; that's all you can do. It's not the end of the world. You analyse it, you pick things from it what you think you could have done better and when you get yourself into that position again you try and put those things that you want to do better into practice.

“I think the more you get yourself into that position, the more you'll be able to deal with it better and I think that's all I really have to do, just keep getting myself in those positions, and sooner or later it will fall my way.

“When it does, I'll have the memories and the experience of that to fall back on when I get myself into positions like that again.”

Although Congressional appears certain to provide a stiff test for the 156-strong field, McIlroy approaches tomorrow’s opening round in relaxed mood.

“I feel as if my preparation has been really good coming into this event, and I feel as if I’m playing really nicely,” he explained.

“They (the USGA) haven’t set it up like a typical US Open. I feel as if this set up is a little more scorable than the previous two US Opens that I’ve played.

I’m not sure how much different the golf course is going to be on Thursday, but definitely at the minute you feel as if you can make a few birdies out there.

“They'll obviously try to firm up the course from the weekend onwards, but I think you can see yourself shooting something in the 60s out here.

“I don't know if you'll be able to do that every day, but I reckon a little under par might win this this week.”

McIlroy is also at ease with the pressure on his shoulders, with numerous fellow players and pundits tipping him to become a multiple Major winner.

“I've learned over the past few months you can't take a lot of notice from what other people say,” he added. “You have to go out and do it yourself.”

“There's no point in everyone saying you're going to be a Major Champion when you're not one. You have to go out and prove them right and prove to yourself that you deserve to be one.

“It's very flattering and it's great that people are saying these things about me but I need to do it first, and I haven't done it yet. I just need to go out and play the golf that everyone thinks I'm capable of.  And if I can do that for four days, then hopefully I'll be sitting in front of you guys on Sunday night and maybe saying, yeah, maybe I could be a multiple Major Champion.”

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