Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

In-form Rory McIlroy hopes to spend the weekend hunting down a second US Open crown at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.

The Northern Irishman broke a host of tournament records as he won his first Major Championship title at Congressional in 2011 but he has since struggled at the US Open, with his next best finish arriving in 2015 when he came joint-ninth at Chambers Bay.

But the 29 year old heads into the second Major of 2018 on the back of a sensational victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour and four top-five finishes on the European Tour - including the Masters Tournament.

And McIlroy, who has become used to featuring in final groups recently, is hopeful he can be in the mix again on Sunday.

I just want to give myself another chance to win another Major Championship - Rory McIlroy

He said: "My game feels good. I've played myself into a few final groups recently. 

"I've got myself into contention quite a few times so I would love to do that again this week. It feels like it's been a while since I've been in the mix at this Championship. 

"With how my game feels, hopefully I can do the right things over the first few days and put myself in a position to win another one.

"There are a lot of strong players, but I feel good about my game. I just want to give myself another chance to win another Major Championship. 

"It's another opportunity to try and do something great this week.

"I love the golf course, especially with how the conditions have been, especially yesterday with a bit of wind and the dryness.

"It sort of reminds me of some of the courses from back home a little bit, the way the golf course has been playing."

McIlroy has enjoyed a lengthy spell of preparation in New York in the build-up to this week's event, playing local courses and recharging the batteries.

And he believes rediscovering the joys of "fun" golf could help his game.

McIlroy added: "For maybe five or six years I never played fun golf. It was all to do with getting ready to play tournaments and I didn't understand people that went out and played a lot.

"But basically it's been since my dad became a member at Seminole and I was able to go over and play a lot of golf with him that I really started to enjoy fun golf again and playing these different courses.

"And I think it does put you in a different frame of mind. You're relaxed out there and maybe that sort of bleeds into your mindset whenever you're here in a big championship. It's no different - I think that's the thing.

"If I've got a shot that I need to execute under pressure here this week, it's no different than playing that shot when I'm out there playing with my dad or my buddies or whatever it is.

"Obviously there is a separation of the two but the more you can get into that mindset of being relaxed and enjoying it, the better you're going to play."

McIlroy will begin his opening round alongside Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth at 8.02am local time on Thursday.

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