U.S. Open 2020: McIlroy off diaper duty and out to end major drought

By Sports Desk September 15, 2020

Rory McIlroy hopes to end his extended wait for a major title at the U.S. Open, but the former world number one is not placing too much pressure on himself as he puts things into perspective after becoming a father.

McIlroy is off diaper duty for this week's rescheduled U.S. Open, which gets underway at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York amid the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.

The 31-year-old Northern Irish star has not added to his four major trophies since 2014, when he claimed both the US PGA Championship and Open Championship.

McIlroy finished tied for 33rd at this year's PGA Championship, while he was unable to defend his Tour Championship and FedEx Cup titles last week as Dustin Johnson reigned supreme.

"Yeah, for sure. I think if anything, if you've looked at my major championship performances over the last few years, I've just gotten off to slow starts," McIlroy told reporters when asked if he had analysed his major struggles.

"I probably just put a little too much pressure on myself going into tournaments. And from there, shooting a bad score on the first day and putting yourself under even more pressure from there to just make it to the weekend, and then to try to play catch-up. I think that's been the big thing.

"When I start tournaments well, I seem to stay up there. I started Pebble last year with a nice score and stayed up there for the most part. I didn't quite finish the week the way I wanted to. But that's been the big thing for me. If I can start and put a good solid round together on a Thursday, I'm usually right there."

While McIlroy is eyeing major glory, defeat would sit slightly easier with the 2011 U.S. Open champion following the birth of his first child.

Asked if fatherhood had relaxed him, McIlroy said: "I think so. I think it just puts things in perspective a little bit. Not that this it matters to me and I care about it very much, but at the same time, it makes the hard days a little easier to get over, right. And I'm not saying that I want to have hard days to get over, but yeah, you're a little more relaxed.

"When I say it's not the be-all and end-all, it's a major championship and I've grown up my whole life dreaming of winning these tournaments, and that's not going to change, but if it doesn't quite happen, I can live with that and go home and be very happy and leave what's happened at the golf course at the golf course.

"I think that's maybe something that I haven't done so well in the past is I haven't left my job at the office basically, I've brought it home with me, and I've let it affect my mood and how I am. I think having that little bit more perspective definitely helps."

McIlroy added: "I actually changed the first two diapers, so I'm very proud of that. But yeah, I've got my hands dirty; put it that way."

Related items

  • Swafford wins Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship Swafford wins Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship

    Hudson Swafford celebrated Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship glory after triumphing by one stroke.

    Swafford carded a three-under-par 69 to rise to the top of the leaderboard on Sunday as he claimed a second PGA Tour title.

    The 33-year-old was two shots behind overnight leader Adam Long heading into the final round in the Dominican Republic.

    Swafford used a flawless front nine to set up his victory, with an eagle and three birdies before a double bogey on the 13th hole and a bogey on the 15th threatened to derail the American.

    But Swafford birdied his penultimate hole at Corales Golf Club in Punta Cana, where he clinched his first Tour trophy since 2017.

    Tyler McCumber (66) finished outright second at 17 under, a shot ahead of Mackenzie Hughes (70) and two clear of Nate Lashley (69).

    Long capitulated in the final round as a three-over-par 75 saw him finish fifth and four strokes behind champion Swafford.

  • Catlin wins Irish Open for second European Tour title this month Catlin wins Irish Open for second European Tour title this month

    John Catlin shot a superb 64 to storm to the Irish Open title on Sunday and claim his second European Tour victory this month.

    The American, who also won the Andalucia Masters, came from four shots behind in a stunning final round that included three birdies in his last four holes.

    Catlin's nerveless display saw him get to 10 under, putting him two strokes clear of Aaron Rai after the Englishman dropped a shot at the last.

    Jazz Janewattananond and Maverick Antcliff each finished three off the pace.

    "There are so many years of hard work that have gone into this moment," said Catlin. "It was my goal to win again at the start of this week so to accomplish that is to do something truly, truly special.

    "You never know if you're going to win or not and to get that monkey off my back at Valderrama really freed me up today to know that I can look myself in the mirror and tell myself honestly that I've been here before and I can do it again.

    "I've always wanted to play in the majors, that's the only level of golf that I haven't played at and hopefully one day I can win one of those as well."

    The tournament's two biggest names failed to make the weekend, with 2019 Open champion Shane Lowry missing the cut, along with three-time major winner Padraig Harrington. 

  • Long posts 64 to claim lead at Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship Long posts 64 to claim lead at Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship

    Adam Long will take a two-shot advantage into the final round of the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship after surging to the top of the leaderboard.

    American golfer Long carded a flawless eight-under-par 64 to claim the lead through three rounds in the Dominican Republic on Saturday.

    Long started the penultimate day three strokes behind overnight leader Hudson Swafford at Corales Golf Club in Punta Cana.

    But Long, who is eyeing his second PGA Tour title after winning last year's Desert Classic, used eight birdies to catapult himself from a tie for fifth position to outright first at 17 under overall.

    Swafford is second through 54 holes following his three-under-par 69, a shot ahead of Canada's Mackenzie Hughes (67), while Zhang Xinjun (68) is 13 under.

    Nate Lashley (65) and Sean O'Hair (70) are five strokes off the pace and tied for fifth.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.