U.S. Open favourite Rory McIlroy has dismissed any injury concern heading to this week’s championship at Pinehurst No. 2.
The double Major winning McIlroy is believed to have tweaked his knee during the opening round of last fortnight’s Memorial.
There was suggestions of ligament damage but the 25-year old Northern Irishman shrugged off any concern as he targets a second U.S. Open success in three years.
“No, my knee is absolutely fine,” he said in an article by good friend and colleague Karl MacGinty in the Irish Independent.
McIlroy will play the opening two rounds in the company of good friend and fellow U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell and in fact, played a practice round Tuesday morning in the company of McDowell along with fellow Irishman Shane Lowry and Australia’s Aaron Baddeley.
McDowell remarked: “It’s a touch of St Andrews, Royal Portrush, Hoylake. It’s linksy, but doesn’t play like a links around the green because of the Bermuda fringes, which are grainy. “It’s very unAmerican.”
And Karl further reports McDowell met with Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, who redesigned Pinehurst No. 2 ahead of this year’s double bill – U.S. Open and next week’s Women’s U.S. Open.
“It was great to chat with them,” said 2010 U.S. Open winner McDowell.
“I challenge anyone to hit more than 12 greens a day here. It’s that type of track. Twelve greens would be a great ball-striking round, I think, so there’ll be six, seven, eight scrambling opportunities per day and the guy who scrambles best will win.
“There’ll be a low birdie count at this US Open and you’re going to have to par this place to death and the guy who makes the most pars is going to win.
“Yes, I think that suits me, as opposed to Merion last year, which was too wet and the rough got too penal.
“This year, I feel I can keep the ball in play, be disciplined with my iron play and scramble.”