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Friday 9 December 2016

rory: trophies my goal

McIlroy has performed better in US

World number one Rory McIlroy will gladly accept silverware over consistency as he looks to win a second US Open title at Chambers Bay this week.

McIlroy has missed the cut in his last two events, carding rounds of 71 and 78 in the BMW PGA Championship and 80 and 71 in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down in his native Northern Ireland.

However, the 26-year-old had won two of his three previous events in the United States and feels what followed in Europe could be attributed to mental fatigue at the end of five tournaments in succession.

"'I obviously didn't want to miss those two cuts in Europe, but I think that's just the way I'm going to be," said McIlroy, who won the first of his four major titles to date by eight shots in the 2011 US Open at Congressional.

"I'd rather in a six-tournament period have three wins and three missed cuts than six top-10s. Volatility in golf is actually a good thing. If your good weeks are really good, it far outweighs the bad weeks."

McIlroy was the centre of attention as he tried to complete the career grand slam at the Masters in April - but with Phil Mickelson in that position this week after six runners-up finishes in the US Open, the Northern Irishman is enjoying a much quieter build-up.

''There's not as much attention or much hype,'' McIlroy added. ''I can get here and just do my thing without much worry. And I guess there's not as much on my mind about what I can achieve.

''It's hugely important, a chance to win a second US Open and the fifth major, and that's all important, but there was just so much hype and so much attention around Augusta. This one feels very different.''

Mickelson's most recent runners-up finish came after he shared the 54-hole lead at Merion in 2013 but went on to finish second behind England's Justin Rose.

A month later, the left-hander won his first Open title at Muirfield to leave himself needing to win his national open to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in achieving the career grand slam.

''I've always been somebody, ever since I was a kid, that got motivated by failure, that worked harder because of failure,'' said Mickelson, who celebrated his 45th birthday on Tuesday.

''Some people get discouraged by that and it almost pushes them away. But for me it's been a motivator to continue to work harder and get over that hump, whether it was trying to win my first major championship, that took significantly longer than I thought it would, whether it's trying to win an Open Championship or whether it's trying to win a US Open championship."

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