McIlroy upbeat on Open chances

Rory McIlroy feels his game is in great shape going into this week’s Open Championship and insists he is looking forward to putting last year’s woes behind him (McIlroy 20/1 Open Outright).

The 23-year-old went into the 2011 Open having claimed his maiden major at the US Open just a few weeks before, but he was unable to get anything going at Sandwich and ended up in a tie for 25th after struggling to cope with the blustery conditions.

The Northern Irishman was less-than-complimentary about the tournament after his final round and made it clear that he was much happier playing with the sun on his back.

But he has now backtracked on those comments and confessed that they were made “in the heat of the moment.”

McIlroy’s form has dipped in recent times and he has missed the cut in four of his last six events, including the US Open, but he bounced back to finish in a share of 10th at the Irish Open last time out.

And the Ryder Cup star (5/1 Top GB and Ireland Player) believes he could contend for the title on Sunday if he can keep his ball out of the many danger areas at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he added. “I feel like I’m hitting the ball great. I think it’s the best I have swung the club all year.

“It’s going to be all about keeping the ball in play, keeping it out of the bunkers and, if I can do that, I think I have a great chance.”

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