Williams: "I Am On The Rory Train"

Golf analyst Michael Williams believes Rory McIlroy could win his first major since 2014

July 18, 2019 - 9:04 am
Rory McIlroy Open Championship

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Rory McIlroy isn’t the favorite to win the Open Championship, but GolfWRX host Michael Williams believes he has a chance to shine at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

“I am on the Rory train,” Williams said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I think he’s as excited as anybody who would be a native of Northern Ireland would be. It is a social event. It’s a huge societal event for Ireland – not just a sporting event – and Rory feels that. This is going to be one thing that pushes him to accept pressure.”

McIlroy, 30, won the PGA Championship and Open Championship in 2014. He hasn’t won a major since.

“I think in those years since he won that last major, he’s one of the those guys who tries to mitigate pressure rather than accept pressure and let it drive him to greater heights,” Williams said. “But I think with this event, it’s going to be something that has such personal meaning for him that he’s going to accept the pressure and let it drive him to greatness rather than push him away from victory, which it seems to have done in recent years.”

McIlroy is more than familiar with Royal Portrush. He shot a 61 there when he was 16.

“That’s free and loose Rory,” Williams said. “We’re hoping he can rekindle that on this golf course. He’ll be surrounded by a wave of love. You know how much Phil is loved at the U.S. Open on a Sunday? That’s going to seem like him being on trial compared to the love that Rory is going to get on this golf course. If he can make it through the first two days and keep himself in contention no matter what anybody else shoots, no matter what the weather is, he has the institutional knowledge and he’ll have the support that can put him in position to be maybe one of the most significant wins in Open history, which is saying a lot for a tournament that’s about 148 years old.”

Click below to listen to Williams’ interview in its entirety.