INTERVIEW: Rory McIlroy has new found love for Northern Ireland and his fans after The Open

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Credit: Jonny Collins/Ulster Image

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy has spoken of his new found love for Northern Ireland and his fans after a rallying play at the Open in Royal Portrush. 

The world number three missed the cut ahead of the weekend play in the Championship. 

He had a tough opening round on the Thursday at the Dunluce links, and a hard-fought performance on Friday wasn't enough to keep him in contention. 

However, the Holywood man was cheered throughout the course and got a standing ovation as he walked to the 18th green. 

The 30-year-old was the home favorite heading into the championship and was visibly emotional when he missed out. 

He also admitted he may have taken the wrong approach heading into the Open.

"I almost tried to downplay the majors this year," he said. 

"I tried to treat them like every other event and I've realised they're not."

"I tried a sort of different strategy this year, it didn't quite work for me. I just have to reassess that going forward."

McIlroy's after his third title of the year this week at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis, and says he hasn't touched a club since missing the cut in Portrush. 

However, he's also been spending time moving house this week sparking some speculation he may have been distracted last week. 

The Open was possibly Rory's biggest ever tournament in front of a home crowd since becoming a global star. 

He was asked whether that had changed his game but says it effected him more in his feelings for his home country.


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