Rory ready to thrill home fans
McIlroy hoping to shine in Irish Open at Royal Portrush
Last Updated: June 27, 2012 3:35pm
Rory McIlroy speaking in his press conference
Rory McIlroy has no problems with the home favourite tag at the Irish Open this week - in fact, he's embracing it.
While the Northern Irishman admits that he has struggled with the weight of expectations when playing in front of his own fans in the past, he's looking forward to the support at Royal Portrush now.
And what support there will be, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Irish Open selling out in advance for the first time in European Tour history.
"To have it played at one of the best golf courses in the world, Royal Portrush, is fantastic."
Rory on Irish Open Quotes of the week
"To be honest the last couple of years, I didn't really enjoy the tag of the home favourite," McIlroy told europeantour.com.
"I just didn't feel very comfortable with it - this year I really want to embrace that. You look at so many people and when they have got a home advantage, it is an advantage, and it should be not just me, but also for the other guys from here as well. It's something that you really have to embrace, and that's what I'm going to try and do this week.
"I think everyone has waited a long time for the Irish Open to come back up north and to have it played at one of the best golf courses in the world, Royal Portrush, is fantastic.
"The first ever European Tour event to sell out is something that's obviously got a lot of people very excited, and it's shaping up to be a great week.
Going to be fantastic
"It's going to be fantastic. Yesterday I played an early practice round and the people who came out to watch really created a great atmosphere. I'm looking forward to playing in front of all of them this week, and hopefully I can put on a good show.
"The golf course is in great shape - the rough's thick and greens are running well. Hopefully the weather cooperates a little bit, and it should be a great week of golf."
McIlroy's form has suffered a bit in recent months, but he feels close to getting back to where he needs to be.
"I've put ten days of really good work in," he added. "My game feels good. It actually felt pretty good at the US Open.
"I felt like it was starting to come around. In a way it couldn't be a better time to come back here and play Portrush. It brings back so many good memories, and you can feed off that, and that gives you some confidence."