Rory McIlroy insists he is putting thoughts about the Open Championship to one side and is ‘fully focused’ on impressing at the Scottish Open.
McIlroy returns to competitive action at the Renaissance Club after a three-week break, ahead of playing in the first Open Championship in Northern Ireland for 68 years next week.
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The world No 3 will be chasing a fifth major title on home soil at Royal Portrush, although is initially looking to find some form in Scotland and challenge for a third win of the year.
“I’m playing this event with two eyes firmly focused on the Scottish Open,” McIlroy said. “It’s not as if I’m trying to replicate shots or different things here that I might be doing in Portrush.
“First and foremost, I want to play well here. I want to get myself into contention and have a chance to win a golf tournament. I think if I do that, that’s the best way to prepare for next week.
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“I think it’s a little disrespectful when people come in and they are treating it as a warm-up. I think most tournaments deserve to stand on their own two feet and have some stature, and the Scottish Open is one of these events on The European Tour.”
McIlroy, who has already won the Players Championship and the Canadian Open in 2019, visited Royal Portrush – where he set the course record of 61 as a 16-year-old – on Saturday ahead of his trip to East Lothian.
“I expected [Royal Portrush] to feel different than it did,” McIlroy added. “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.
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