Rory McIlroy has undergone a dismal season, having missed significant periods of the year through injury.But the four-time major champion has confirmed his return at the U.S.Open at Erin Hills after spending a fortnight at the Quinta do Lago Resort in Portugal.
The Northern Irishman found himself on the sidelines due to a rib injury after finishing runner-up to Graeme Storm in South Africa before more recently withdrawing from the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth following a recurrence.The Ulsterman has competed in just six tournaments in 2017.
"I am ready for Erin Hills and looking forward to playing there for the first time," McIlroy says. "The last few weeks have obviously been frustrating – I never like to miss events either on the PGA Tour or European Tour – but it was important I got back to a level of fitness where I felt like I could give myself the best possible chance at the U.S.Open. As I have said many times before, majors will ultimately determine my golf career but I have had the rest of this busy season to consider as well.Every aspect of the facilities at Quinta do Lago has been first class.I can't thank the people there enough for the way they have looked after me.I have been able to work on fitness and golf without any distractions at all."
The 28-year-old shared the news of his recover in a Twitter post that showcased his celebrated swing from the sunny fairways of the Algarve.The news comes as a relief for McIlroy's many fans as he seeks a fifth major victory and a second triumph in America's national championship, having picked up his first title at Congressional six years ago.
Erin Hills is a new venue on the U.S.Open rotation, with the Wisconsin course being merely a decade old.The yardage can be potentially stretched to almost 8,000 yards which can be punishing for many golfers.It's certain to be an arduous challenge for the field as they seek to claim the trophy secured by Dustin Johnson in brilliant fashion last year.
Photo: Ed Balaun (supergolfdude) / Flickr