McIlroy confident in swing ahead of U.S. Open
June 12, 2019
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – A missed cut at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide paid immediate dividends, giving Rory McIlroy a confidence in his swing that he hasn’t possessed in years.
The free weekend at Muirfield Village allowed McIlroy to fix some issues in his address position. He decimated the field in his next start, shooting 64-61 on the weekend to win the RBC Canadian Open by seven shots.
“I think just from seeing good shots and making good swings on the range (at Memorial), to then seeing good shots, making good swings on the golf course, then you can start to play with a little bit of freedom and fire,” McIlroy said.“And that's what I did over the weekend (in Canada). I hit driver. I hit it hard. I played with less technical thoughts, and that was really it.”
It was his second win of the year and moved McIlroy to second in the FedExCup standings.
He hasn’t felt that good about his golf swing since his FedExCup-winning season of 2016, when he won two of the last three Playoffs events. McIlroy is now in good position to join Tiger Woods as the only winners of multiple FedExCups.
He was too stooped over at address before the Memorial, which caused him to get the club stuck behind him.
“I hit a couple of really loose drives at Memorial that cost me,” McIlroy said. “So that was just standing a little more upright and giving myself a little more room, a little more time to hit it.”
He led the field last week in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, finishing sixth in driving accuracy (66%) and first in driving distance (324.4 yards). That helped him make a field-leading 26 birdies.
McIlroy, the 2011 U.S. Open champion, has missed the cut in the last three U.S. Opens. He thinks playing the week before will help. Pebble Beach, where he missed the cut in 2010, won’t allow him to hit driver without abandon, though. That is the most lethal club in his bag, but he isn’t worried about the fact that Pebble Beach will constrain him off the tee.
“I just don't think it's worth it,” he said. “I'd much rather be in the fairway hitting a 7-iron in than you're trying to hit a driver up there. The greens are so tricky and they're so small that if you hit it into the middle of the green, you're going to have a decent birdie putt anyway.
“This week is all about patience and just giving yourself looks and chances, playing from the fairway. I think if you go out and you try to overpower this golf course at all, it can bite you pretty quickly.”