Rolex Series

McIlroy putting in the hard yards in Scotland

Rory McIlroy is hoping to see the hard work pay off as he goes in search of a first Rolex Series victory at the 2021 abrdn Scottish Open.

Rory McIlroy

The Northern Irishman started working with renowned coach Pete Cowen earlier this year and the new partnership brought almost instantaneous results with a victory on the US PGA Tour at the Wells Fargo Championship.

He finished in the top ten as he hunted Major Championship number five at the U.S. Open Championship and then admitted he barely touched the clubs before teeing it up at last week's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

A tie for 59th may have not been the week he was looking for in County Kilkenny but McIlroy was happy to get some miles in the swing and is now looking to kick on further, with Cowen on-site this week at The Renaissance Club.

"I'm looking forward to getting back on the golf course," he said. "I was pretty rusty last week in Ireland. I didn't really do any practice the week after the U.S. Open and it sort of showed in my game. 

"So it's been nice to link back up with Pete who is here and worked on some stuff the last couple of days.

"The great thing about Pete is he doesn't sugarcoat it. He'll tell me when it's not great so that when he does give me a compliment, I know that it's real. It's been great. 

"It's probably stuff I've worked on before but said in a slightly different way, slightly different thoughts.

"Good thing about Pete is he's been doing it such a long time and with so many great players, is he knows what works and he knows what doesn't. 

"I've really enjoyed it. I really have. I've enjoyed learning from him. He's got such a great knowledge about not just the golf swing but the game of golf in general and it's been a good few months."

McIlroy has never had a top ten at the Scottish Open but with an Open Championship, a BMW PGA Championship and an Irish Open win on his CV, the 32-year-old knows what it takes to get over the line in the British Isles.

The great thing about Pete is he doesn't sugarcoat it. He'll tell me when it's not great so that when he does give me a compliment, I know that it's real

"I would say 14 under this week is probably going to have a decent chance," he said. 

"It's all dependent on the weather. Dependent on what sort of wind we get, the direction of the wind, whether the course firms up any more than how it is right now. It's all dependent on the weather, like any links golf course.

"It's obviously soft just from all the rain there's been the last couple of days but it's a good test. 

"I think they have added a couple of tees. It's a bit longer. The rough's up a bit more than it probably was last time. I think with benign conditions like this and with it being soft, the scoring is still going to be pretty good.

"Maybe players might just get punished a little more for like wayward shots, which is sort of what you're looking for. You've got to stand up and hit some good golf shots and you want to be challenged a little bit. I think the set-up this week is pretty good."

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