December 2, 2023

The final time Royal Liverpool Golf Membership hosted the Open was the final time Rory McIlroy received, again in 2014.

The Northern-Irishman has endured a serious drought since then, successful the PGA Championship the next month, however lacking out since then.

He’s come shut within the final couple of years, with runners-up finishes in final yr’s Masters and the US Open in Los Angeles simply final month. And he now comes into the fourth and closing main of the yr off the again of successful final weekend’s Scottish Open on the Renaissance Membership.

“It seems like such a very long time in the past,” McIlroy mentioned. “You’re attempting to rekindle the reminiscences as I used to be driving from the airport final night time and getting onto the Wirral.

“I haven’t been right here since 2014, so attempting to get these reminiscences again once more and attempting to refamiliarise myself with the vary and the membership, the primary tee and every part. It’s good to come back again anyplace you’ve had success, it’s at all times a pleasant feeling.”

“My sport feels prefer it’s in fine condition, however I believe seeing the way in which I performed final week and having the ability to management my ball in fairly troublesome circumstances, and I be ok with that coming into this week.”

Cameron Smith is the defending champion after holding off McIlroy and Viktor Hovland final yr at St Andrews.

World No 1 Scottie Scheffler, Masters champion Rahm and 2021 Open champion Collin Morikawa are among the many different elite gamers vying for glory, together with LIV stars like Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.

“Hyperlinks golf, a variety of it’s going to be dictated by the climate, proper, on what you may or can’t do on the golf course, particularly on a golf course like this,” Rahm mentioned. “It’s simply having the ability to choose your spots and play your finest golf.”

And if Rahm can’t win it this week, he could also be pulling for his fellow European to win his fifth main.

“He (McIlroy) nonetheless has a variety of years to play forward of him, so I do know he needs to maintain including to that tally,” Rahm mentioned. “I’m hoping he does it. I’m fairly certain he’ll get that No 5 sooner or later.”

Rory McIlroy is off in a gaggle with Jon Rahm and Justin Rose at 2:59pm.