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Rory McIlroy cautions against "goofy" US Open set-up

As he goes in search of a first major victory in more than five years, Rory McIlroy has issued a subtle plea to US Open organisers not to sabotage this week's event with a "goofy" course set-up

McIlroy, 31, is playing Winged Foot for the first time this week and whilst he likes what he has seen so far, he is concerned that things could get out of hand as the week goes on - a legitimate concern given the USGA's chequered past when it comes to readying courses for the self-styled 'Toughest Test In Golf'. 

In 2018, the organisers lost the course over the weekend with pin placements that failed to take adequate notice of both the weather and firm underfoot conditions.

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Speaking to the media ahead of this week's championship, McIlroy said that he's hopeful those mistakes won't be repeated this week.

"It's hard, obviously, but I think it's very, very fair," said the 2011 champion after playing his first 18 holes at the New York course. "When I played Oakmont for the first time, my initial reaction was, this place is impossible. This course gives you a little more chances if you miss it, I guess.

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"Something would have to go seriously wrong to get into the realms of goofy golf. Again, going back to Oakmont, it's is a wonderful golf course, but I think Oakmont set-up normally is right about on the edge, and if you just go a little further, then that can start to get a little goofy, where here it doesn't seem like that can happen. 

"Certainly if you get it way too firm and you get some crosswinds and stuff, it can get pretty dicey, but from what I've seen yesterday and today, I expect that not to happen."

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McIlroy is making his first major start since becoming a father for the first time earlier this month. He says that the arrival of his daughter Poppy has already changed him, he hopes, for the better.

"I think it just puts things in perspective a little bit," said the Northern Irishman. "My career matters to me and I care about it very much but, at the same time, [parenthood] makes the hard days a little easier to get over, right?

"When I say it's not the be-all and end-all, it's a major championship and I've grown up my whole life dreaming of winning these tournaments, and that's not going to change, but if it doesn't quite happen, I can live with that and go home and be very happy and leave what's happened at the golf course at the golf course.

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"I think maybe something that I haven't done so well in the past is I haven't left my job at the office basically. I've brought it home with me and I've let it affect my mood and how I am.

"I think having that little bit more perspective definitely helps."




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