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Sunday 20 August 2017

McIlroy wants no emotional rollercoaster

Rory McIlroy. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

TWO weeks after describing his own golf as "brain-dead", Rory McIlroy yesterday admitted he needed to be less emotionally involved in his game.

McIlroy missed the cut in the Open Championship at Muirfield, delivering a withering assessment of his performance after an opening round of 79 that was followed by a 75 to finish 12 over.

The 24-year-old Irishman won five times last year, including his second major by eight shots in the US PGA Championship, to finish top of the money list on both sides of the Atlantic.

But he has yet to record a win in 2013 since a controversial multi-million euro switch to Nike in January, also damaging his reputation by walking off the course during his defence of the Honda Classic and bending one of his new clubs out of shape during the final round of the US Open.

Down to third in the world, McIlroy hopes some relaxed rounds of golf at home with friends and advice from putting coach Dave Stockton can kickstart his season at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Akron – just as it did 12 months ago.

"I was sitting up here this time last year not feeling as if my game was in great shape," said McIlroy.

"I'm sitting up here this year a lot more positive and that's a great sign.

"It's a course (Firestone Country Club) I feel I can do well on and if something similar can happen to last year when I was fifth, that would set (me) up for the last major of the season and a great end of the year.

"It's been up and down (since the same time last year). I've had some great weeks and wins and had some very average ones as well.

"It's like everything, you are going to have ups and downs. My highs have been incredibly high and my lows have been pretty low so it's about trying to make it more on an even keel."

McIlroy spent the weekend in Ireland, where he was seven under par for the last seven holes of one of those rounds with friends. "It's nice to just go out and play for the sake of playing, not because you have to," he said.

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