Rory McIlroy eyes up his next major win

The Northern Irish golfer receives a hero's welcome in his hometown and vows there will be plenty more to cheer about.

     McIlroy is full of confidence following his first major win and record-breaking score at the U.S. Open [GALLO/GETTY] 

    Following his spectacular U.S. Open win, Rory McIlroy has his sights firmly set on his next major success.

    The Northern Irish golfer said on Wednesday that he fancies his chances of making it three major victories in a row this year.

    The 22-year-old Briton romped to an eight-shot win in Maryland on Sunday and is also confident of doing well in next month's British Open at Sandwich and at the U.S. PGA Championship in Georgia in August.

    "I feel if I can keep this form up to the end of the summer I have a good chance at the next two majors," McIlroy told a packed news conference at the Holywood Golf Club on the outskirts of Belfast.

    "The form I showed last week was great and I think it's a lot to do with the hard work I have put in over the past few months."

    Scores of fans turned up to give the U.S. Open winner a hero's welcome at the club where he first hit a plastic golf ball as a toddler.

    A huge banner welcoming McIlroy home was erected at the front of the clubhouse but, to the disappointment of the waiting crowds, the Ryder Cup player was smuggled in through a back entrance.

    ‘Total whirlwind’

    McIlroy later appeared on the balcony to greet his supporters, who cheered and applauded as he showed off his U.S. Open trophy, before going downstairs to mingle with them.

    "It's been a total whirlwind for me since Sunday. I haven't had time to think," said McIlroy.

    "But it was great to sleep in my own bed last night knowing the trophy was sitting downstairs and, no, I never thought about sleeping with it."

    McIlroy said Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman were among those who had inundated him with congratulatory messages.

    "But it was great to sleep in my own bed last night knowing the trophy was sitting downstairs and, no, I never thought about sleeping with it"

    Rory McIlroy loves his U.S. Open trophy, but not too much 

    He will now take three weeks off before returning to competitive golf for the British Open at Sandwich on the south-east coast of England.

    "The support I get from Northern Ireland and from the whole island of Ireland is incredible," he said.

    "I know everyone is proud of me and I know it's a great achievement for Northern Ireland to have two U.S. Open winners in a row. I don't know if it will ever happen again," McIlroy said in reference to Graeme McDowell's 2010 victory.

    He said his stunning display at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda had surprised even him.

    "In any tournament, let alone the U.S. Open, you always feel you are going to have a few bad holes but that never really happened for me apart from the last-hole double bogey on Friday," said McIlroy.

    Open to Northern Ireland 

    He now hopes his success could lead to Northern Ireland hosting the British Open in the next five or six years.

    "Everyone in the country would love it and I think it is feasible," said McIlroy.

    "We've got the golf courses which are good enough, it's just having the infrastructure to pull it off."

    "If enough people get behind it, it would be a definite possibility."

    The polite, easy-going McIlroy said he would try to make sure the adulation he had received this week did not go to his head.

    "There's going to be a lot more attention on me than there was previously," he explained.

    "It's going to be tough. The demands on my time are going to be very hard but I am going to try my best to just be the same Rory."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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