Rory McIlroy has US Open in mind as he takes on Torrey Pines

This week’s Farmers Insurance Open on same layout as second Major of the year

Rory McIlroy lost a one-shot lead in the final round of Abu Dhabi Championship last week. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy lost a one-shot lead in the final round of Abu Dhabi Championship last week. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

 

Rory McIlroy is relishing an early look at this year’s US Open venue as he bids to end his winless streak in the Farmers Insurance Open.

McIlroy remains without a victory since November 2019 after failing to convert a one-shot lead after 54 holes of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Sunday.

The 31-year-old had the long journey to California to mull over what went wrong, but has quickly turned his attention to the €6.2m event at Torrey Pines, which will also stage the US Open in June.

McIlroy, who finished third in the event last year and fifth in 2019, told a pre-tournament press conference: “It’s great to be back.

“I didn’t really start playing this event until a little later on in my career, but it’s been a good venue for me, even going back to the Junior World days, whatever that is now, 20 years ago.

“Also, looking ahead to June and the US Open here as well, it will be nice to at least have it fresh in the memory for then, too.

“I think it’s a wonderful layout for a Major championship. It stands up to basically the most elite level of golf that we play, the toughest test we face all year for the most part.

“I’m not really going to be thinking about what they’re going to do (with the course set-up in June) because I just have to play the golf course that’s in front of me this week.

“I would expect the rough to be up a little bit more and the greens to be a little bit firmer, a little more premium on accuracy that week than maybe there is this week, but it’s not as if you’re not trying to hit the fairways this week either.

“If I can go out and play well and shoot three good scores on the South this week, it will give me some confidence going into June.”

Each player in the 156-strong field will play 18 holes on the North Course and 18 on the South before the halfway cut is made, with the last 36 holes all taking place on the South.

McIlroy will partner fellow four-time major winner Brooks Koepka and Matthew Wolff in the first two rounds.

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