Rory McIlroy will draw on memories of the best golf game of his life as he defends his Wells Fargo Championship title.
ith regular venue Quail Hollow, which will host the Presidents Cup later this year, the tournament will be held at the TPC Potomac in Maryland, a move that doesn’t appear to be to McIlroy’s advantage.
However, the course is only two miles from the Congressional Country Club, where McIlroy won the 2011 US Open in eight shots, his first major title.
“Any time you can defend a title, it’s a beautiful thing,” said McIlroy, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Wednesday.
“Obviously my success was at that tournament in Quail Hollow and not here. I’ve never played here before, never seen the venue, (but) as a replacement for Quail Hollow it’s a pretty nice one.
“I really like it from what I’ve seen over the past few days. It’s just a solid golf course. You can’t really fake it here. You have to hit the ball really well, the green complexes are difficult, pretty small targets .
“Maybe the rough isn’t as high as they usually have here because of the time of year, but overall a really solid test.”
McIlroy’s sweeping victory at the Congressional was all the more remarkable because it came just two months after he lost a four-shot lead in the final round of the Masters after hitting a final 80 at the Augusta National.
“Yes, 11 years ago seems like a long time ago,” said the seventh in the world rankings. “It’s a distant memory. I think I’ve watched it so many times I don’t really remember the experience. I remember more just looking at it on a laptop or a TV screen.
“To this day I think it was the best week of golf I’ve ever played in my life. The ball has been on a string this week and you wish you could bottle that every single week that you play.
“Unfortunately that’s not the case, but I think that’s still the benchmark for how I can play. That’s as good as I’ve been able to play this week.”
When asked if there was a specific moment during the week that stood out, McIlroy added, “Not necessarily. Just kind of how free flowing it was and how relaxed I looked. I came from a heavy defeat at Augusta and that was still fresh in my memory.
“I think I was just so hyper focused that week that I knew I was playing well and I think just the lessons from Augusta, they’ve been with me throughout the week and I haven’t been ahead of myself and mentally myself was just in a really good place.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/rory-mcilroy-braced-for-a-really-solid-test-in-defence-of-wells-fargo-title-41615218.html Rory McIlroy was preparing for “a really solid test” to defend Wells Fargo’s title