The Open: Hoylake course is a different test says Rory McIlroy
Last Updated: 13/07/14 12:48pm
Rory McIlroy is looking forward to the "different" challenge presented by the Royal Liverpool course for next week’s Open Championship.
The Northern Irishman expects some low scoring at the Merseyside course, which is usually known as Hoylake and is the second-oldest seaside links golf course in England, as he goes in search of his first Open success.
"Hoylake is a different test," McIlroy told Sky Sports News.
"The first thing you notice about Hoylake compared with some of the other Open Championships is how scoreable it is. It is a par-72, so in that way it is a little bit like St Andrews.
"You have got four par-fives and you have got a few other opportunities to make birdies. The greens are very generous and quite flat so you are going to see a lot of putts being holed and a lot of birdies being made.
"Last time at Hoylake, I think the winning score was 18 under par, so it's a little different than some of the other venues, but it’s a nice change. It’s a nice change to be able to go there and think about making birdies and shooting scores in the 60s.
A lot of excitement
"It's still pretty soft depending how the weather is in the next few days leading up to it, but it's going to be a good test and I think people will enjoy it.
"The crowd are going to see a lot of excitement especially the last few holes - 15 is a short par-three which is very birdieable and then 16 and 18 are par fives - so there are a lot of chances on the way in to make up a few shots."
McIlroy also revealed he is planning to make a slight tweak to his club options at Hoylake.
"I am going to take my five wood out and put a two iron in. I think that's the big club change for The Open," he said.
"There's going to be a few holes where you need two iron off the tee and the big thing about Hoylake as well is that you just need to avoid these fairway bunkers, because if you hit it in these fairway bunkers it’s a penalty shot really. You have just got to hit it out sideways and try and hit your third on the green.
"You are always trying to save par from 150 yards out really so if you hit the ball on the fairway it gives you a huge advantage. If you start hitting it in the roughs – it’s pretty thick at the moment – or these fairway bunkers, you are going to make life a lot more difficult for yourself. So putting it on the fairway is going to be a big key."
Click on the video to see the full interview with Rory McIlroy