McIlroy ready for Portrush challenge
Rory McIlroy believes his recent woes are now firmly behind him as he prepares for this week's Irish Open at Royal Portrush.
The 23-year-old enjoyed a superb run of form over the first few months of the year but has suffered an alarming slump in recent times, with four missed cuts in his past five outings. The Northern Irishman went into the US Open with high hopes of defending the title that he won so spectacularly at Congressional 12 months before. But he was unable to cope with the Olympic Club course and failed to make the weekend at the year's second major. After a break, the Ryder Cup star will return to action this week as the Irish Open returns north of the border for the first time since 1953. A strong field has assembled for the tournament, with Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and US star Keegan Bradley all set to tee it up on Thursday. Around 100,000 spectators will line the course over the fours days with the European Tour announcing its first ever sell out for a regular-season event. McIlroy is desperate to do well in his 'home' event and is confident that his game is coming together just at the right time. "I feel like I've made a lot of progress and I'm really looking forward to this week and hopefully giving myself a chance to win here," he said. "I'm feeling good and had some really good practice over the last 10 days and my game feels in really good shape."