McIlroy taking aggressive approach at Merion


ARDMORE, Pa. – If it weren’t for the accent, you’d never guess that Rory McIlroy grew up in Northern Ireland.

The two-time major champion is thrilled that this week’s U.S. Open will produce soft conditions. McIlroy has never been a fan of fast, quirky conditions – which is precisely why he rarely plays well at the British Open and is a big reason why he struggled mightily at the U.S. Open last year at The Olympic Club.

Two years ago, McIlroy blistered a soggy Congressional track en route to a commanding U.S. Open victory. McIlroy doesn’t think this week will produce such low numbers, but he’s anxious to find out.

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“I didn’t really enjoy The Olympic Club last year,” McIlroy said Tuesday at Merion. “I much prefer this sort of golf, I guess. When you hit a shot and it doesn't bounce one way or the other, when you hit it and it stays where you think it's going to stay.

“You can be aggressive on the holes that you feel comfortable on and sometimes you’ve got to be a little more conservative on the holes that the tee shot might not quite fit your eye.”

McIlroy figures that he’ll hit driver about seven times per round, which is an aggressive game plan for someone who hits the ball so far. When he doesn’t hit driver, the plan calls for irons off the tee. McIlroy doesn’t imagine a scenario where he’ll hit many 3- or 5-woods.