Rory McIlroy wants lightning to strike twice at Hoylake as he bids to end a nine-year wait for a major at the scene of his 2014 Open triumph

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Rory McIlroy wants lightning to strike twice at Hoylake as he bids to end a nine-year wait for a major at the scene of his 2014 Open triumph

  • Rory McIlroy will start as favourite to win the Open Championship on Thursday 
  • The Northern Irishman won the Scottish Open and was the US Open runner-up 
  • McIlroy appears close to his best as he makes his return to the Royal Liverpool

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Rory McIlroy has been feeding off happy Hoylake memories as he returns to the scene of his Open triumph in 2014.

McIlroy stormed to a two-shot win for the third of his four major triumphs but has returned to the Wirral on the back of a nine-year wait for No 5. 

He starts his charge on Thursday as favourite, having won the Scottish Open on Sunday and been runner-up at the US Open last month.

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McIlroy said: ‘It (2014) feels like such a long time ago. I haven’t been here since, so I’ve been trying to get those memories back. Anywhere you come where you’ve had success, it’s always nice.’

The 34-year-old has shown a huge improvement in form since missing the cut at the Masters and appears close to his best.

Rory McIlroy will start as the favourite to win the Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool

Rory McIlroy will start as the favourite to win the Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool

McIlroy lifted the Claret Jug at the venue back in 2014 and will be hoping to achieve a repeat

McIlroy lifted the Claret Jug at the venue back in 2014 and will be hoping to achieve a repeat

The Northern Irishman appears back to his best after winning the Scottish Open on Sunday

The Northern Irishman appears back to his best after winning the Scottish Open on Sunday

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He said: ‘I led the field in stats tee to green (in Scotland). I’m pleased with my iron play, wedge play, controlling my flight, how I played in the wind, which I might need this week.’

Meanwhile, golfers have been told not to deal directly with protesters if they crash the course this week. 

Given the size of the venue, it is vulnerable to Just Stop Oil protests that have been prominent this year.



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