Winning the Open at Royal Port...

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Winning the Open at Royal Portrush a 'once in a lifetime' chance for McIlroy

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Rory McIlroy is confident that Royal Portrush will be a 'spectacular' venue for the Open and he considers next week as a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to win a major on home soil. 

McIlroy shot a course record 61 at the County Antrim course as a teenager and will be bidding to win his first major since 2014.

"It might be a once in a lifetime opportunity, I don't know," the world number three told Sky Sports.

"I'm sort of treating it like a once in a lifetime opportunity but I still have to enjoy it. I can't put so much pressure on myself. I've made that mistake before at tournaments and it hasn't quite worked out for me."

"I want to enjoy the experience and take it in as well, not have my blinkers on the whole time, look to the right of me, look to the left of me, see all these fans, see all these people who have come out to support me and if I'm able to play some good golf that I have been doing all year and give myself a chance."

"Sometimes in Irish Opens that support has been a bit of burden on me but I feel like I have learned to use that energy in the right way and that's what I'll need to do next week."

McIlroy played a practice round at Royal Portrush last weekend.

"I expected it to feel different than it did. It still just feels like Portrush to me.

"Yes, the stands are up and it looks fantastic, but it's still the same golf course. When I got on the first tee, everything sort of started coming back to me.

"It felt like just the same old golf course that I grew up playing and it was nice."

The four-time major champion will use this week's Scottish Open as his warm-up ahead of the final major of the season at Portrush.

"As much as these weeks set you up for the week after I am playing with two eyes firmly focused on the Scottish Open," McIlroy said.

"I want to get myself in contention and have a chance to win the golf tournament. That's the best way to prepare for next week, to feel the heat of competition."


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