A selection of some of the best bits from Rory McIlroy’s pre-Open press conference.

A selection of some of the best bits from Rory McIlroy’s pre-Open press conference:

Q: Collapsing in the second round seems to be a recurring problem doesn’t it?

A: Yes, it does. One that I’d like to try to stop this week. It’s more I just got it into my head. And I may be putting a bit too much pressure on myself, going out on Fridays and trying to back up a score. I have no problem shooting a low one on Thursday, there should be no reason I have any problem shooting a low one on Friday.

Q. How do you think you’ve evolved as a links player now compared to perhaps in your amateur career?

A: I think because I played so much links golf in my amateur days, I was probably more suited, I was used to playing the shots that you need on links courses a little bit more. And then when you go on Tour you start to neglect some of the shots that you might need in conditions like this. So if anything, I don’t think I’ve evolved that much as a links player, but I’ve been trying, especially the last few weeks, to play some shots, really practice hard on some of the shots that I might need this week. The Open Championship is a tournament that’s very important to me. And my record in it hasn’t been as good as I’d like. I’d love to improve on that.

Q: You were understandably a bit fragile earlier this year with what happened off the course. Are you in a better place at the moment than you were a few months ago?

A: Yeah, I’m just focusing on my golf at the moment, and making that the No. 1 priority. So, yeah, I mean am I in a better place? I’m happy with everything that’s going on. As I said, I’m just really focused on my golf. I’ve got a big stretch of tournaments coming up. I’ve got obviously this week and then go back over to the States and World Golf Championship and then the PGA and all the FedExCup playoffs and the Ryder Cup. So there’s a lot to keep me busy and just looking forward to that stretch of golf coming up. So yeah, I’m happy.

Q: Padraig Harrington described Tiger’s win in 2006 as Tiger’s best Major win at that time, his best performance. Would you rate it that way? Do you remember watching it?

A: No I was actually on holiday in Spain with my parents at the time.

Q: Were you fascinated by the fact that even at that age that he left the driver in the bag?

A: Not really.

Rory went from the sublime to the ridiculous at Royal Aberdeen last week, following an opening 64 with a lacklustre 78. He was happy to accept his “second round-itis” as an issue he needs to deal with. He was also very honest in his appraisal of his links game. Unlike others who grew up on the links – the likes of Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell – Rory has lost many of the skills necessary for negotiating the links as he has sought to perfect the PGA Tour-style power game.

It was good to hear how politely dismissive he was in questions about Tiger – it shows confidence. For him, this event is just about his performance and he’s not going to worry about what Tiger gets up to.