Rory McIlroy finished off his pre-U.S. Open week prep by making the epic Payne Stewart winning putt from the 1999 U.S. Open. Not a bad way to get the positive vibes going for the season’s second major.
Rory told Pinehurst.com that the putt, “was a lot slower than I thought it was. It’s a lot uphill. A little bit of right to left, probably a ball, ball-and-a-half of break. So, at least I know if I have that putt next Sunday. I know what it’s going to do.”
Here is the video of Rory making the putt, courtesy of Pinehurst.com:
The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland is my favorite to win the U.S. Open next week. He said the native areas, which have replaced the traditional deep rough at a U.S. Open venue, give you a 50/50 chance of going for the green. Rory also said, “The fairways are generous. The fairways are at least 35, 40, 45 yards wide. It encourages guys to get driver in [their] hand.”
What does that mean for McIlroy? It means his absurd length will be a huge asset to him at Pinehurst No. 2. If Rory is driving it relatively straight, he will have mid-to-short irons into most par-4s, and even if he strays from the fairway, he will have a good chance of being safe.
From Rory’s description of the greens, it seems his strategy will be to play it safe on approach shots, “With all Donald Ross courses, the greens are very tricky. The greens are its defense…with all the run-offs and…I think here more than anywhere else, play to the middle of the green. If you have putts from the middle of the green all day, you’re not going to get yourself into much trouble.”
Let’s hope the strategy holds up for the two-time major champ.
Here is the full interview with Rory McIlroy after his practice round at Pinehurst No. 2, courtesy of Pinehurst.com:
–Bernie D’Amato (@bdamato711)