McIlroy loves the look of links-style U.S. Open layout

Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:09pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Washington (Reuters) - Chambers Bay will not suit every player at this week's U.S. Open but Rory McIlroy has embraced the challenge posed by a links-style venue that suits his power game and high ball flight.

The Northern Irish world number one saw the par-70 layout for the first time on Saturday and was stunned by its 'British Open' feel with huge sand dunes, fescue grass, undulating greens and semi-blind shots from several fairways.

"I really didn't know what to expect when I got here ... it's a pure links golf course," four-times major winner McIlroy told reporters on Tuesday before heading off for another practice round.

"Every part of this golf course is fescue. It's really like playing a (British) Open championship in the United States ... apart from the fact that it's about 20 degrees warmer. It plays more like a links course than some (genuine) links courses.

"I really like the golf course. It sets up well for my game. You've got to hit driver. It's a course where you're going to see a lot of guys hit fairways and hit greens but when you hit greens, you can still be 50, 60 feet away from the pin."

Dry and mainly sunny conditions have been forecast for the rest of the week at Chambers Bay, which will result in a firm and fast course on which McIlroy says the ability to hit high approach shots into raised greens will be a major factor.

"Anyone that can get elevation on their iron shots and get a little spin on the ball, that's the way you're going to get it close to these pins," McIlroy said.

"I think that's the way I'm going to do well this week.   Continued...

Jun 16, 2015; University Place, WA, USA; Rory McIlroy addresses the media in a press conference during practice rounds on Tuesday at Chambers Bay. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports