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McIlroy eyes Open glory

HOPEFUL: Rory McIlroy aims to tackle his tendency to struggle on Fridays in tournaments. PHOTO: REUTERS

Rory McIlroy believes the time is ripe for him this week at Royal Liverpool to finally play his best golf for the full four rounds at the British Open, after six years of frustration.

The 25-year-old Northern Irishman already has two Major wins under his belt - the 2011 US Open and the 2012 PGA Championship - but success at the two most vaunted Majors - the US Masters and the British Open - has remained elusive.

In the latter, he has only a tied-for-third to his credit at St Andrews in 2010, and his other performances were way below par, something McIlroy is fully aware of.

"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," said McIlroy yesterday.

SPECIAL

"It would be very special. I remember growing up watching The Open on TV and watching (Nick) Faldo win.

"Watching a lot of The Opens growing up, and even going to a couple of them to watch when I was a kid - it's special.

"It's the only one played outside of the States, as well. And it's played on links. It's the oldest, and probably has the richest history of all of them.

"It would be great to put my name on the Claret Jug one day. If I was to win my third Major here, it would be the third leg of a career Grand Slam as well. Not many golfers have done that, either.

"So it would be special. It would be very important. Hopefully by the time I hang up my boots, I'd love to be able to get my name on that trophy."

To win his first Open title, McIlroy will have to kick an annoying habit - starting well and then struggling on Friday - a problem he is aware of and determined to set right.

"That's one that I'd like to try to stop this week," he said.

"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.

"I think I just got into my head. It's something that I need to go out and pretend like it's a Thursday again."

McIlroy will tee off tomorrow alongside Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and Jordan Spieth of the United States. - AFP.