Rory McIlroy, 18/1 with bookmaker to win the tournament, thinks that keeping the ball in play will be a crucial factor in this week’s Open Championship.
The former US Open champion is hoping to land a second Major at a demanding Royal Lytham, with long rough and a myriad of fairway bunkers likely to tax even the world’s best golfers in the coming days.
McIlroy said: “It’s keeping the ball in play, keeping it out of the bunkers and out of the rough. The whole key this week will be just trying to drive it on the fairway.
“Not only if I can do that, but if anyone can do that in this field, they’ve got a great chance.”
McIlroy’s fellow Northern Irishmen Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell also have their backers for the challenge ahead, with the latter expected to challenge as he currently stands in second place on the PGA Tour’s driving accuracy list.
Defending champion Clarke finished tied for third place the last time the Open was held at Lytham back in 2001, when American David Duval won his first and only Major title.