Rory McIlroy told patience will be key to winning The Open at St Andrews


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Rory McIlroy will be amongst the favorites to win The 150th Open Championship at St Andrews and former winner Sandy Lyle has warned “patience” will be key in Scotland

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Rory McIlroy unapologetic for showing flashes of frustration at the start of US Open

Rory McIlroy has been told patience and mentality will be crucial if he wants to win The 150th Open Championship next month.

McIlroy was in contention for victory at the US Open, eventually finishing tied for fifth as Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick took the crown. But attentions will now turn to St Andrews where McIlrory will be amongst the favorites to lift the Claret Jug on July 17.

Eight years have now passed since the Northern Irishman won his home major at Royal Liverpool Golf Club and expectations are high after a strong run of form. He left 1985 Open winner Sandy Lyle impressed with his display as he saw off Justin Thomas and Tony Finau to win the Canadian Open earlier this month.

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Rory McIlroy is considered amongst the favorites for The 150th Open Championship
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“Rory McIlroy has looked really good,” Lyle said, supporting The 150th Open Championship Claret Jug Tour, in partnership with HSBC UK.

“It (Canadian Open) was a big match for Rory, winning with Justin Thomas and Tony Finau breathing down his neck, and that looks great for him, having that under his belt, playing well. He’s not fatigued, he hasn’t played endless amounts of tournaments.

“He looked like he was enjoying the competition. When you’ve got someone breathing down your neck – he was playing good shots, Finau was playing good shots, Thomas was playing good shots – it all comes down to who makes the puts.

“We’ve so many tournaments over the years with Tiger winning by nine shots and it all gets a bit flat, that wasn’t flat and recently we’ve seen pure, 100% golf down to the final hole.”

Sandy Lyle has told McIlroy “patience” will be key to winning at St Andrews
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M DORCIK)

Lyle is supporting The 150th Open Championship Claret Jug Tour, in partnership with HSBC UK
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M DORCIK)

With attentions turning to St Andrews, Lyle explained how the tournament will pose a completely different test to the US Open – with a huge focus on the mental aspect with long waits between holes.

“The thing is with St Andrews is there’s about 11 double greens,” Lyle explained. “There’s a lot of waiting because of other groups trying to finish off.

“It’s a minor side of it, but patience for the pro is absolutely a priority. You can get away with your B game around it and still win the tournament, but you’ve got to have your A-game in terms of the mental strategy, staying within the moment and not getting tired and fed up with waiting around.

“Patience will be a huge part. I remember when I last played there and Tiger Woods was right behind me when he won. We got on the fifth tee, I was already the third group on there and he arrived as the fourth group, still waiting.

McIlroy won The Open back in 2014 and will look to lift the Claret Jug once again this year

“He had to wait probably 25 minutes or half an hour before he played his next shot, and that’s not easy. If you’ve got momentum and all of a sudden you’ve got to stand still, that’s where the concentration comes in.

“The US Open does not compare, because it’s a different style golf course, narrow fairways, hot. St Andrews is wide fairways in some ways, not so hot, deeper bunkers, putting it will be quite difficult, but patience will be the number one thing. ”

  • Sandy Lyle is supporting The 150th Open Championship Claret Jug Tour, in partnership with HSBC UK.
  • The tour will visit schools, golf clubs, city centers and HSBC branches.
  • The famous trophy will work its way across the UK and Ireland, finishing at St Andrews for The 150th Open in July.
  • For more information on where the trophy will be visit TheOpen.com, and follow @TheOpen and @HSBC_UK on social.

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