Rory McIlroy hasn’t set foot on Pinehurst No. 2, but he likes what he’s hearing about it as he looks forward to parlaying confidence gained winning the BMW PGA Championship Sunday into something even bigger at the U.S. Open in three weeks.
“Yeah, I can only go on what I've read and what I've heard about Pinehurst, because I've never been there,” McIlroy told reporters after coming from seven shots back in the final round to win in Wentworth, England. “No rough for a U.S. Open is going to be very different. I hear it's going to be a long, long golf course, which I'm looking forward to. I don't mind that at all, getting driver in the hand, and a long golf course, it would suit me.”
McIlroy, who won the U.S. Open at Congressional in an eight-shot runaway three years ago, is the 8/1 favorite to win at Pinehurst No. 2, according to Ladbrokes.
“Obviously, the greens are very tricky at Pinehurst, a lot of run offs and slopes,” McIlroy said. “I think you're going to have to have everything there. Even without seeing the golf course, I don't think it's going to be a course that's going to suit one type of player or another. You're obviously going to have to be pretty long off the tee, but most of the guys are these days. Most of the guys can get it out there. So it will just be about second shots, and when you miss greens, I think you'll have to be very imaginative around the greens, and you'll have to bump it into the hills and run it up, and some guys might try and fly it up on top of the greens.”
This week, McIlroy heads to the Memorial, where Ladbrokes also makes him the favorite to win, even with world No. 1 Adam Scott in the field and also coming off a victory. McIlroy is the 8/1 favorite at the Memorial with Scott next at 10/1.
After the Memorial, McIlroy said he plans to make a scouting trip to Pinehurst No. 2. He’ll take with him the asset he most wanted for his U.S. Open preparation.
“It does my confidence a world of good,” McIlroy said of his BMW PGA victory. “I know that I'm playing well, but being able to get the job done under pressure, and when I need to, I think that's the most pleasing thing about this week.”