“It obviously tests your mental fortitude” – Rory McIlroy doubles down on his hot take on Pinehurst No. 2, says he ‘embraces’ the course

U.S. Open - Round Three
Rory McIlroy at the US Open 2024 at Pinehurst (Image via getty)

Rory McIlroy had heaped praise on Pinehurst No. 2 ahead of the US Open 2024. The ace golfer lauded the conditions at the Major championship’s host course and claimed he would “love” to play “more golf courses like this.” Now, the four-time Major champion has doubled down on his comments.

McIlroy on Saturday admitted that the Pinehurst course, deemed ‘difficult’ by many, ‘tests the players’ mental fortitude’ more than any other event. However, he didn’t complain. The 35-year-old said he’s tried to ‘embrace’ the tough nature of the course over the years. He credited this as the reason to his ‘improved’ performances in the competition.

Doubling down on his comments on Pinehurst, Rory McIlroy said (at 2:31):

“I'm embracing the questions that the golf course asks of you. I think there's holes where you have to be aggressive, there's holes where you have to be conservative, there's whole locations that you can take on and hit wedges close to. There are whole locations you got to stay away from.
"It tests your chipping, it tests your putting. It obviously tests your mental fortitude more than any other golf tournament. So, as I said at the start of the week, it's a style of golf that I've started to try and embrace over these last few years. And it's a reason that my performances at the US Open have been much improved over the last half a decade.”


It is pertinent to note that Rory McIIroy’s comments come after he scored a 69 to share T2 ahead of the final round. Notably, the star European golfer carded a bogey-free 65 to share the top spot on the leaderboard on Day 1 of the competition while several golfers struggled to navigate the course.

Rory McIlroy is ‘excited’ for the final run at US Open

Rory McIlroy heads into Sunday’s final round at the US Open 2024 at T2. Following this third-round outing, the 26-time PGA Tour winner admitted that he was pushing for the grouping with leader Bryson DeChambeau. However, he failed.

McIlroy will tee off at 2:10 pm ET alongside Patrick Cantlay, 11 minutes before the leader’s pairing with Matthieu Pavon.

The Northern Irishman admitted to being excited for the final. The golfer, who’s not won a Major championship since 2014, said it “would have been nice” to get into the final pairing for the last day of competition. However, he added that it also came with some cons.

Rory McIlroy detailed that it “mightn't necessarily be a bad thing” to be in the second last group. He recalled being in a similar position last year at Los Angeles Country Club, where Wyndham Clark beat him to the trophy.

The Ryder Cup star said he wish to “produce the golf that's needed to go one better” this year.

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Edited by Vishnu Mohan
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