2023 Open Championship: Top 10 Power Rankings at Hoylake

151st Open Championship, Royal Liverpool,(Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
151st Open Championship, Royal Liverpool,(Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Rory McIlroy, 150th Open Championship, St. Andrews, Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports /

Here we go again.

Regardless of circumstances, a compelling case can always be made to get the Rory McIlroy pre-major hype train rolling.

Lately, he’s had a way of winning in his previous start before a major to help the cause of him being one of the top tournament favorites.

His latest triumph came last week in a stirring finish to the Genesis Scottish Open. McIlroy won for the first time in that country by making two difficult birdies in the wind in the final two holes to surpass the home country kid, Robert MacIntyre, by a shot.

McIlroy was the 36-hole and 54-hole leader and was near the lead all week. It wouldn’t have been a huge disappointment if he lost given the strength of the field and McIlroy never storming out to a huge lead. However, if he failed to convert, it could have given him a shred of doubt coming to The Open Championship.

For as well as he’s played in the last 12 months, he only had two PGA Tour wins and a DP World Tour win to show for it.

Instead, he displayed his usual artistry striking the ball down the stretch and made clutch putts to seal the deal in this DP World Tour and PGA Tour co-sanctioned event.

“Really proud. That was such a tough day, so tough, especially the back nine,” McIlroy was transcribed by ASAP Sports. “I bogeyed my last two holes on the front nine to go to 2-over and I saw Tyrrell was making a run. Obviously Bob was making a run as well and had an unbelievable finish. To play that back nine 4-under par to win the tournament, yeah, really proud of how I just stuck in there.”

McIlroy also has the benefit of returning to the site of his lone Open victory at Hoylake in 2014.

The Northern Irishman put on a master class at Royal Liverpool, carding 66-66-68-71 (-17) for a wire-to-wire victory. McIlroy won by two over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia.

You could’ve gotten long odds if you were to wager the next day that that would be his last major.

At least so far.

At age 34, he’s no spring chicken, but he’s still got a half dozen years of prime still to go. He could factor in majors well into his 40s given his relative health over his career.

The pain of McIlroy’s near miss in the last major, the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club, could still linger. However, he can take a lot from how well he played.

Wyndham Clark went out and won it. McIlroy didn’t necessarily lose it. It felt different from last year at St. Andrews where McIlroy failed to play aggressively and let Cameron Smith snatch it away from him.

Next. Can Rory Win 50 Titles in His Career?. dark

McIlroy’s all-around stats right now are extraordinary. His worst strokes gained mark on the PGA Tour is 86th in putting, where he’s still gaining .049 strokes per round.

The tour’s driving distance leader (327.6 yards) is fourth in total SG (2.089), second tee-to-green (2.039), and second off-the-tee (1.052).

It’s expected to be a cold, rainy, windy week. McIlroy isn’t known as a mudder, but he does love himself a soft golf course.

The nine-year drought will come to a close this week in the United Kingdom.