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Rory McIlroy tests his stamina from US Open heartbreak at Scottish Open ahead of The Open | Golf News

Rory McIlroy returns to action by defending his title at the Genesis Scottish Open and then going after a fifth major title at the 152nd Open at Royal Troon; watch both events live on Sky Sports Golf this month or stream with NOW

With Ali Stafford, Senior Sports Journalist

11:58, UK, Wednesday 10 July 2024

When Rory McIlroy won the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic in New Orleans earlier this season, he celebrated by singing the lyrics to the karaoke classic “Don’t Stop Believin'” with his friend and teammate Shane Lowry.

The title and lyrics of Journey’s iconic track could resonate with McIlroy when he returns to the field for a back-to-back event in Scotland. Both are broadcast live on Sky SportsAfter defending his title at the Genesis Scottish Open, he attempted to end his major drought at The 152nd Open.

McIlroy will be seen in tournament action for the first time since his final-round disappointment at the US Open. McIlroy looked set to win his first major since 2014, but three bogeys in the final four holes gave Bryson DeChambeau a one-shot victory.

Highlights from the thrilling final round of the US Open at Pinehurst No. 2

McIlroy suffered the agony of two missed putts from four furlongs in the closing stretch at Pinehurst No 2, while another second-place finish meant the Northern Irishman’s wait for a fifth major trophy “just kept getting longer and longer” – as the song goes.

An earlier line in this couplet references the fact that “some will win, some will lose.” McIlroy has finished in the top 10 in majors 21 times since his 2014 PGA Championship success — more than any other player — and has not added to his major count.

Wayne ‘Radar’ Riley looks back at Rory McIlroy’s victory at Valhalla in the PGA Championship in 2014 and his last major victory

McIlroy spoke of his career-long resilience a day after his runner-up finish last month and how he is “closer than ever” to winning his next major. He has previously described ending his major drought as “the final piece of the puzzle”.

The puzzle metaphor comes from the fact that he has achieved almost everything possible during a decade of great suffering. Multiple FedExCup triumphs, Race to Dubai success and three Ryder Cup victories – most recently in Rome as Europe’s star man – are all on his glittering golfing CV.

Live DP World Tour Golf

Thursday July 11 08:30

McIlroy has also had multiple wins this year, retaining the Hero Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour in January and then snapping a streak of missing the PGA Tour by posting back-to-back wins at New Orleans and the Wells Fargo Championship.

Those wins have yet to translate into a major triumph and questions are growing over whether McIlroy can bounce back after squandering his best-ever shot at the US Open. Sir Nick Faldo feared last month that missed putts could “haunt him forever”.

Sky Sports’ Wayne Riley and Dame Laura Davies analyse McIlroy’s last-minute collapse at the US Open and assess his ability to bounce back

The scar from the U.S. Open won’t be completely cleared until he hits the Rolex Series event. There, he will want to preserve “that feeling” of his dramatic one-shot victory over Robert MacIntyre last year rather than the huge disappointment.

McIlroy’s stunning birdie-birdie 12 months ago gave him his first professional win in Scotland and puts him favourite to win The Open at Hoylake a week later – the same tournament where he came three quarters of a mile from a career Grand Slam when he lifted the Claret Jug nine years ago.

Highlights from McIlroy’s dramatic final round victory over Robert MacIntyre at the Scottish Open

He failed to win at Royal Liverpool. McIlroy finished seven shots behind Brian Harman, despite improving his score each day. McIlroy has finished in the top six in six of his last eight Open Championship appearances without success.

The song sung after his win in April included the lyrics, “I’d pay anything to roll the dice, just one more time.” McIlroy said after finishing second at the 2023 U.S. Open — a tournament in which he finished second with a cold shot — “this is how I’m gonna spend 100 Sundays trying to get to another major.”

McIlroy and Shane Lowry celebrated their Zurich Classic of New Orleans victory with a moving rendition of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’!’

A good defence from Scotland could ease some of the troubles at the US Open and send him to Royal Troon with confidence that he can finally complete his journey back into major tournament contention.

McIlroy won’t stop believing a fifth major is coming.

Watch Rory McIlroy live on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour this season on Sky Sports. Watch the Genesis Scottish Open live from July 11-14 and the 152nd Open at Royal Troon live from July 18-21 on Sky Sports Golf. Stream the PGA Tour, majors and more with NOW.

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