World number four Rory McIlroy says his game is in “good shape” at the moment and he is confident of challenging for titles on a more serious note in the second half of the season.
McIlroy has been hampered by a rib injury for large parts of 2017 and his last victory came at the Tour Championship back in September 2016 – the first time he has triumphed at the season-ending event.
The Northern Irishman missed the cut at the US Open at Erin Hills in what was a disappointing performance before only managing a tie for 17th at the Travelers Championship last week.
However, the 28-year-old did card a six-under-par 64 in his final round in Connecticut and the improved putting display was a welcome relief after he had used three different putters in the tournament.
The four-time major winner appears to be showing signs of his previous best and it has come at the right time with a busy schedule over the next couple of months.
McIlroy said: “I’ve got a World Golf Championship, two Majors and the FedEx Cup to think about so there’s a lot of important stuff coming up and I feel my game’s in good shape to try and contend again.”
The Open Championship is just around the corner – the event at Royal Birkdale running from July 20-23 – and McIlroy is priced at 11.00 to win the title for the second time.
World number one Dustin Johnson is the 9.50 favourite while Jason Day and Masters champion Sergio Garcia are a 15.00 and 17.00 chance respectively.
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson will be hoping to defend his crown and he is also a 17.00 shot to triumph, just ahead of Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama, who are priced at 19.00.