Statistics don’t lie: Rory McIlroy must sort out driving to get his game back
Meeing with Nike technicians could be vital for world number two ahead of British Open
All of which means the meeting with the Nike techies could be one of the most important things McIlroy does before teeing up again competitively, which happens to be at the British Open in Muirfield in just over a fortnight’s time.
McIlroy intends to spend some time at the Scottish links next week in preparation, rather than adding the Scottish Open next week to his itinerary.
This week’s French Open at the National Golf Club in Paris has a strong Irish contingent, with world number nine Graeme McDowell aiming to bounce back from his missed cut at the Irish Open.
McDowell has won twice on tour this season, on each occasion – in the Heritage Classic and the Volvo World Matchplay – bouncing back from failing the survive the weekend at the previous tournaments.
McDowell is joined in Paris by Michael Hoey, Simon Thornton, Alan Dunbar, Peter Lawrie, Damien McGrane, Paul McGinley, Gareth Maybin and Gareth Shaw, whose tied-fifth finish in Carton House earned him a spot in the field.
It will be Shaw’s seventh successive week playing, not that he is complaining. “This game is so funny. If you get on a bit of a streak, before you know it you are out there (on tour). It depends on what I make of it. I’ve got to stick at doing the same things I’ve been doing,” said Shaw.
Lawrie, who had a top-10 finish at Carton House, will also seek to continue his good form with an eye on making it into the British Open off the mini order of merit which finishes this week in Paris. “I go to Paris and then the Scottish Open and hopefully I play well in either to get into the British Open,” said the Dubliner.
Meanwhile, Colin Montgomerie will be among the 288 players competing over four courses in Scotland in today’s 36-hole Final Local Qualifying in their attempts to make it to Muirfield. There are a 12 places available.
There are 13 Irish players bidding to make it to the season’s third Major. Kevin Phelan, Neil O’Briain, Colm Moriarty, Brendan McConnell and Dunbar are competing at Dunbar links; David Jones and Danny Sugrue are in action at Gullane No 1; David Higgins and Michael McGeady are at North Berwick, and Richard Kilpatrick, David Rawluk, Gavin Moynihan and Aaron Kearney are at Musselburgh.