We look at five reasons why the Northern Irishman will win his fifth Major title.
5 Reasons Why Rory McIlroy Will Win The Open
The Open Championship returns to Royal Portrush in 2019 after 68 years absent from the links course. This of course means a lot to golfers like Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke who call Portrush their hometown, but it also means a lot to Rory McIlroy who has a good pre-existing relationship with the Dunluce course.
It has been a long time since Rory’s last major victory and a lot of pressure is being put on him to win The Open in 2019. But will he? Well in the piece below we have taken a look at 5 reasons why he will hoist the Claret Jug aloft on Sunday the 21st.
He Is The Course Record Holder
Rory shot 61 around the course when he was just 16 years old. That means he knows how to score on the links and knows what to do and what not to do there. That kind of experience and course knowledge could be pivotal come tournament time.
Portrush Is A Driver’s Course
We spoke to the head professional of Royal Portrush Gary McNeill and he gave us some key insight that is definitely in Rory’s favour.
He said; “It really is a drivers’ golf course. It’s not the kind of layout, at its level of yardage, where you can really get away with hitting a driving iron off the tees. You need to hit driver, and you need to drive it in the fairway so you can access the pins.
Another feature of the course is a number of raised greens, many with false fronts. If the ball doesn’t quite get up or spins back, it can work its way back down 20 or 30 yards. This means the traditional links technique of landing the ball short and letting it run on will only work on a few holes at Portrush. Generally, the ball needs to be flown all the way. Again, in order to do that, and to hold the surfaces, the guys need to be hitting from the short grass.”
In short, you need to hit it far, hit it in the fairway and this will allow you to access pins. A high ball flight is also important and all of these factors fit into Rory’s style of play beautifully.
He Is Due A Major Win
As mentioned above he has not won a Major since the 2014 Open Championship. For someone of his talent and someone who keeps knocking on the door as often as he does, then is due a victory at some stage. Why couldn’t it be at Portrush?
Great Open Record
The last three Open Championships he has played he has come in the top-five. That proves he can compete on any links course, and when you add to that his two victories this year at The Players and RBC Canadian Open, then Rory is most definitely in a good place. He has also had 11 top-10s this year alone which is the most of anyone at the moment.
His Stats This Year Are Ridiculous
From a Strokes Gained standpoint Rory is outstanding in 2019. In Off The Tee, Approach to Green, Around the Green, Tee to Green and Total, Rory ranks 1st, 6th, 21st, 1st and 1st on the PGA Tour.
Even in Strokes Gained putting, which is perceived to be Rory’s weakness, he ranks 42nd. (Comparatively, Koepka ranks 95th in that particular statistic).
Obviously we know strokes gained can be mis-leading statistics and are not the be all and end all, but they still are relevant to illuminating where a players game is. For Rory, his game is arguably as good as its ever been. He just needs to translate that into some success at Portrush.
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