McIlroy ready to ‘freewheel’ in Memphis

Updated: 13/07/2024


Rory McIlroy will be looking to bounce back at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational this week after his Open Championship nightmare (Rory McIlroy 9/1 – WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational Outright).

McIlroy missed the cut at The Open after a disastrous first round where he recorded two triple-bogeys.

The Northern Irishman now heads to TPC Southwind in Memphis and McIlroy indicated he isn’t putting too much pressure on himself to bounce back.

However, he is looking forward to competing in a strong field and is relishing the prospect of playing alongside Brooks Koepka and Jason Day in the first two rounds.

“I sort of like these events that have no cut,” he told the 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.

“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.

“Like playing with Brooks and Jason Day, to be in those sort of marquee groups from the outset is a cool thing as well.”

Koepka is 9/1 to win the tournament outright and Day can be backed at 33/1.

McIlroy failed to claim a top-five finish in a major in 2019 and now has to wait nine months for his next shot at one of golf’s biggest prizes.

The 30-year-old says he will have to alter his approach at the majors, as he admits his strategy this year simply didn’t work.

“I almost tried to downplay the majors this year, tried to treat them like every other event and I’ve realised they’re not, they’re not like any other event,” said McIlroy, who is rated at 12/1 to win The Open Championship 2020.

“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 is 16/1 to be the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational first round leader, Alex Noren is 60/1 and Jon Rahm is 20/1.

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