Rory McIlroy still has work to do on his game ahead of The Open

Rory McIlroy admitted he got into some “bad habits” that hampered his performance at the Travelers Championship.

McIlroy made a positive start at TPC River Highlands when he opened with a 64, but consecutive rounds of 69 left him eight shots off the pace and too far back to contend over the final 18 holes.

The world No 7 did manage to sign off with an encouraging five-birdie 67 which lifted him to 11 under, leaving him just outside the top 10, but he conceded he has much work to do on his game as he heads back to Europe to begin his build-up to The 147th Open at Carnoustie.

“I played well on Thursday, but then I reverted back to a couple of bad habits that I’ve been in and struggled the last three days,” said McIlroy, who is now looking forward to some time off before he arrives at Ballyliffin to host the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

“But it’s getting there. I’m looking forward to a few days off, because I basically haven’t missed a day of golf in about five weeks, so looking forward to putting the clubs away for a few days next week.

“I’m proud of myself, the way I hung in there. I didn’t have my best stuff this week, but it’s not too bad. I knew I wasn’t going to contend, but I just wanted to shoot a good score and try to take away some positives, I guess.

“But it’s been a funny week. It was really good at the start, and I felt like some of the work I did over the weekend has started to pay off. Then it wasn’t so good the middle two days, but today was actually a little bit better. I did some work last night on the range, but I think just physically and mentally I was just a little bit tired.

“I don’t feel like I hit it that well tee to green. I think the stats say that I did, but I really didn’t feel like I did. I wasn’t really in control of my ball much. My iron play especially just didn’t feel that comfortable. My driving was good. I drove the ball well, which was a big positive. I put a new driver in the bag this week and that helped.

“Obviously, I would have loved to have putted better, but I felt like all parts of my game just needed to be a little bit sharper,” added McIlroy, who highlighted the importance of building up his confidence ahead of The Open.

“Look, it’s never that far away,” he said. “I can hold it together and play okay, but just need to do a little bit of work and get my confidence up if anything. I’m just a little uncomfortable over the ball at the minute, just knowing my swing isn’t quite where I want it to be and I’m still working on it.

“Hopefully just some more practice and a few more reps and seeing some better shots on the course, and I’ll be a little more comfortable going into the third major there.”

Live on the Range: Irish Open

July 4, 2018, 3:00pm

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