U.S. Open: Rory McIlroy hopes to be ready for Erin Hills, skips Memorial

Rory McIlroy (left) and Dustin Johnson (right). Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Rory McIlroy (left) and Dustin Johnson (right). Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports /

Rory McIlroy will likely attempt to tee it up at Erin Hills for the U.S. Open next month, in hopes that he can play like he did in 2011, when he won his first of four majors.

After a nasty rib injury that has sidelined Rory McIlroy, he looks to make a return, just in time for the U.S. Open. The four-time major champion will skip the Memorial Tournament in order to prepare for the big dance with Erin Hills.

His last tournament was at THE PLAYERS Championship where he finished in a tie for 35th. There’s no doubt that he’ll be licking his chops at grabbing his fifth major.

If he was trying to recover by the time of the season’s second major, he would need to do it in a hurry. With the big tournament just a few weeks away, he’d need to have a speedy recovery, especially if he hopes to be 100%.

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McIlroy’s first major championship came at the U.S. Open in 2011. Since then however, it hasn’t been as sweet for McIlroy in golf’s National Championship. Since 2012, he has only finished in the top 10 once, a T9 finish at Chambers Bay in 2015.

The year after his historic win at Congressional, McIlroy failed to defend his title by missing the cut. He finished in a tie for 41st and 23rd the following two years.

Last year at Oakmont McIlroy missed the cut, while Dustin Johnson broke through with his first major title. So it could be a problem if McIlroy decides to play arguably the toughest tournament in golf while at 75%.

However, he could feel relaxed knowing that he already has a U.S. Open under his belt, even if it was six years ago. That said, it could be easy to be too relaxed, to the point where your focus slightly gets thrown off.

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It’s like anything. When you feel a sense of accomplishment, you get a feeling of relaxation as the pressure if lifted off your shoulders.

I’m sure it’s how many golfers feel when they win only one major in their career. It’s the only one they have, but they can say that they reached the peak of the mountain. One is better than nothing.

So McIlroy may be dealing with an array of emotions. His health will remain a concern, as well as his mentality going into Erin Hills. First things first though, we have to see if he’s good to go. As competitive as he is, the future Hall of Famer will no doubt take the stage on the beautiful but deadly course next month.

Next: U.S. Open: Tiger, DJ, and a decade of champions

What are your thoughts on Rory possibly making a return by time of the U.S. Open? Let us know in the comments section or you can let me know on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio. Also, be sure to keep reading PGN for your U.S. Open coverage.