It was interesting to hear Rory McIlroy discussing his pre-British Open schedule ahead of the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.
How players prepare for major championships always seems to be an item of interest. The consensus opinion seems to be “different strokes for different folks.” Or rather, “a different number of strokes in different locales over different timelines,” which doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
McIlroy, winless this year and sidelined twice by a rib injury, is playing the Scottish Open for the first time since 2014. He’s also looking to return to a simpler, less technical process over the ball; not getting too “bogged down in technical thoughts,” as he said.
“The Open Championship is eight days away … I need to see good signs in my golf game going in there to have a bit of confidence,” McIlroy told reporters. “I’m excited about my game. I feel like I’m doing a lot of good things. And again, it’s just putting it all together, not just for one day but for four days; and not just for four days, to do it week-in and week-out.”
McIlroy acknowledged his best form generally comes in bunches, so he’s hoping to “ride the crest of a wave” heading into Royal Birkdale. Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, and a total of seven of the top 23 golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking are teeing it up at the Scottish Open.
If you’re wondering what the last five British Open champions (not named Rory McIlroy) have done prior to vying for the Claret Jug, here’s a quick breakdown of their event prior to The Open.
- 2016: Henrik Stenson: Scottish Open (T13)
- 2015: Zach Johnson: John Deere Classic (T3)
- 2014: Rory McIlroy: Scottish Open (T14)
- 2013: Phil Mickelson: Scottish Open (1)
- 2012: Ernie Els: Scottish Open (T52)
- 2011: Darren Clarke: Scottish Open (T66)
Based on the above, an interesting tidbit for all you golf bettors and DFS players: The last six winners of the British Open teed it up the week before the tournament. Thus, history would suggest this year’s winner is in the field at the Scottish Open or the John Deere Classic.