Thomas Bjorn optimistic about Rory McIlroy's form
Last Updated: 24/07/17 1:56pm
Thomas Bjorn believes that Rory McIlroy can take confidence from his performance at The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale.
European Ryder Cup captain Bjorn, who was a runner-up at The Open in 2002 and 2003, believes McIlroy and European players in general are showing signs of improving in the lead-up to the match-play event which will take place at Le Golf National next year.
McIlroy finished in a tie for fourth place after compiling three successive rounds of 68, 69, 67 to finish the tournament at five-under and seven shots adrift of eventual champion Jordan Spieth.
"I am not concerned," Bjorn told Sky Sports News HQ, about the strength in depth within the American side, which includes Spieth. "We have got a lot of talent coming through. They are going to find their way in the majors as well and there's a lot of time to go until the end of next September.
"There's five majors to be played - I look ahead and I am in a very good place about all our talent and when I look at our senior players they are still some of the best players in the world.
"It was encouraging to see Rory [McIlroy] this weekend [play well]. America is in a good place with their players but so are we and those two teams are always going to be evenly balanced."
Padraig Harrington, who won The Open in 2007 and 2008, is also positive about McIlroy's form and believes his form showed signs of a return to its best.
"I'd say he could see it as a missed opportunity," Harrington told Sky Sports News HQ. "He certainly played enough good golf to have competed and won the tournament.
"I did see one stat which said that Rory played the last 63 holes in 10-under and Jordan Spieth played them in nine-under. So Rory did play physically good enough.
"I don't know whether it wasn't just his week, couple of mental errors maybe, but he should take a lot of confidence from the week. He has shown on what was not a great week for him, that he was nearly there."