McIlroy's preparations to be tested by Chambers Bay

Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:48pm EDT
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By Andrew Both

(Reuters) - One criticism of world number one Rory McIlroy is that he does not always grind out a decent score when the going gets tough, a theory that likely will be put to the test in next week's U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.

With widespread reports indicating that the links-style course next to Puget Sound will penalize everyone with some unlucky breaks from apparently good golf shots, patience will not only be a virtue but an absolute necessity.

McIlroy's best golf is clearly better than his rivals' and he has not been world number one for more than 80 weeks by accident, but he has had a tendency during his career to throw in a few bad rounds and bad tournaments between dominating displays.

When his game starts going south, the Northern Irishman does not always manage to eke out a decent score.

Not only is the 26-year-old coming off missed cuts in his last two tournaments on the European Tour but his normal ball-flight is quite high, something that is not always ideal on exposed courses where the wind often blows.

That is the case the prosecution might offer on why McIlroy will not win at Chambers Bay, but he will likely start as the betting favorite for the second major of the season.

McIlroy drives the ball so well when he is on his game and has the ability to work it both ways off the tee so there is never a hole he cannot handle, whether it is a left-to-right dogleg or vice-versa.

Not only can he hit the knockdown shot when needed, but his normal shot does not launch into the stratosphere as much as some might imagine.   Continued...

Golf - BMW PGA Championship - Virginia Water, Surrey, England - 22/5/15
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during the second round
Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers