OAKMONT, Pa. — En route to winning the 2014 British Open at Hoylake, Rory McIlroy kept secret until he lifted the Claret Jug the two trigger words he relied on that led him to become the Champion Golfer of the Year.
Process and spot.
Process dealt with thinking about his swing instead of the end result. Spot meant picking a spot on the green and rolling his ball over it.
“Very simple,” he said of his choice of words.
Ahead of the start of the 116th U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, the world No. 3 and four-time major champion has another word dancing in his head.
McIlroy said that’s what he’ll rely on as he tackles Oakmont, an 18-hole collection of some of the nastiest rough, bunkers and greens one will ever see. It’s a course that has you on edge from the moment you step out of your courtesy car, one that always has you thinking safety ahead of risk.
So the free-wheeling McIlroy, who banks on power to deliver his best golf, will hit more 2-irons off the tee than driver. Aim for…