Rory McIlroy admits he cannot wait to get going at this week’s Irish Open at Royal County Down.
The world number one struggled in the defence of his title at Wentworth last week, with a second round 78 seeing him miss the cut at the BMW PGA Championship, and he could only watch on as the Byeong-hun An took the crown.
Despite his status within the game, McIlroy has also failed to make the weekend at each of the last two Irish Opens but has extra motivation this time around, having grown up close to this year’s venue in the Emerald Isle.
The star-studded field set to take to the links means it is sure be an exciting week in Northern Ireland, with Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Ricky Fowler amongst those taking part as they look to get an early feel for seaside golf ahead of July’s Open Championship at St Andrews.
McIlroy says he is looking forward to playing in front of his compatriots and admits that it is about time he started producing the goods on home soil.
“I’m so excited for this tournament,” the world number one told the European Tour’s official website. “Obviously the Irish Open is a tournament that’s close to my heart.
“I’m just going to try and enjoy myself this year and relish the opportunity to play at home. It would be great to win obviously and I’ll be trying my best out there.”
McIlroy is currently the overwhelming 4.33 favourite ahead of the tournament, with Garcia and Fowler the next best priced at 13.00.