McIlroy is in search of victory, US Open prep at Torrey Pines

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Rory McIlroy performs the Farmers Insurance coverage Open for the third time and is in search of his first match victory since 2019 whereas getting a really feel for the course that may host the US Open in June.

With seven occasions winner Tiger Woods missed considered one of his favourite tournaments as a result of his fifth again operation, McIlroy and former Farmers winner Jon Rahm, Marc Leishman and Jason Day tops the sector at Torrey Pines.

McIlroy completed third final yr behind Leishman and Rahm and completed fifth with Rahm and Day 2019.

“I did not actually begin enjoying this occasion till just a little later in my profession, however it’s been a great place for me,” the 31-year-old McIlroy mentioned Wednesday. “Even going again to the times of the Junior World, it doesn’t matter what it’s now, 20 years in the past.

“It feels good to be again. With clearly enjoying this match, however wanting ahead to June and the US Open right here as properly, will probably be good to not less than have that contemporary in thoughts for then as properly.”

McIlroy mentioned he deliberate to play 9 holes on the North Course on Wednesday however stopped enjoying 18 on the more durable South Course. He performs South Course within the opening spherical on Thursday after which performs North Course blind on Friday. The weekend spherical might be on the South Course.

McIlroy has not received since beating San Diego native Xander Schauffele within the playoffs of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November 2019.

McIlroy failed to carry his lead within the third spherical of the Abu Dhabi Championship final weekend and completed third after being run over by Englishman Tyrrell Hatton.

The US Open returns to Torrey Pines for the primary time since 2008, when Woods hit Rocco Mediate on the primary gap with sudden demise after an 18-hole playoff.

McIlroy, who received the 2011 US Open on the Congressional for his first main, mentioned Torrey Pines is “a beautiful structure for a significant championship. I feel it stands as much as have a US Open right here. It principally stands up for probably the most elite degree of golf we play, the hardest take a look at we face all yr spherical more often than not.

“I feel three rounds of competitors on the South Course this week might be contemporary in my reminiscence on the subject of June and the US Open is on,” he mentioned. “In fact, the course will play very in a different way in June. I anticipate the tough to be just a little extra and the greens to be just a little firmer, just a little extra premium on accuracy that week than possibly it’s this week, however it’s not such as you’re not making an attempt to hit the fairways this week both.

“If I can exit and play properly and shoot three good factors within the south this week, it would give me some confidence in June.”

Leishman received final yr and completed with a 7-under 65 to beat Rahm by one stroke.

“Sure, it was a special occasion,” mentioned the Australian. “I have been in that place a few occasions earlier than, particularly one I keep in mind, I feel I led by 1 or 2, performed the seventh gap and after that man dropped out. You be taught from that form of factor. I simply needed to take all my experiences, put them in my basket, I assume, and use all of them day.

“Fortunate to have some good golf, make some putts and are available out on prime. So it was a extremely enjoyable day that I’ll keep in mind eternally. ”

Leishman will make his thirteenth begin on this match. He first performed Torrey Pines throughout Junior World 2001.

He is aware of that Torrey Pines will play in a different way for the Open than for the Farmers.

“The benefit of understanding this course in addition to I do is across the greens,” he mentioned. “The breaks don’t change on the greens. They’ve the greens quick for this match as they arrive for the US Open. … I feel in that respect that’s what I’ll take out this week so far as the preparations for the US Open go, simply attempt to map the greens possibly greater than I’ve executed earlier than and be able to make these putts. ”

DIVOTER: Woods, who often begins his yr at Torrey Pines when he’s wholesome, had again surgical procedure on December 23 and is out for not less than one other month. … Jordan Spieth and Louis Oosthuizen make their first begin of the yr. … Spieth is making an attempt to finish a drought that goes again to the British Open 2017. … Justin Rose, who received at Torrey two years in the past, is enjoying in Dubai this week. … Phil Mickelson performs his hometown occasion after lacking the minimize in American Specific final week. That is the twentieth anniversary of Mickelson profitable the match within the playoffs with a double bogey. … Mickelson is paired with Schauffele and Spieth and performs north on Thursday and south on Friday.

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