major fire Paul McGinley assesses Rory McIlroy's hopes ahead of this week's US Open
US Open will be on Sky Sports from Thursday
Rory McIlroy could be a contender to spring back into form and end his enduring wait for a major title at this week's US Open.
That's the verdict of former Ryder Cup captain and Sky Sports analyst Paul McGinley, who suggests the Irishman is capable of finding his form in time to shine at Torrey Pines.
McIlroy has not won a major title since 2014 and is currently working with renowned swing coach Pete Cowen in a bid to find his best form, with McGinley suggesting it may not be far away.
"Something goes off in Rory's head and he just clicks in and all of a sudden he goes," stated McGinley. "He is like a horse with blinkers on and he is gone and flying.
"We know it can turn around so quickly with Rory. He has be mediocre at times and that is frustrating to watch, but then he can turn it around very quickly and he is hard to stop.
"I'd say there is still a bit of bedding down with his swing coach Pete Cowan and that may need some time. His driving is not as consistent as he would like, but his short game is looking good. He won a tournament a few weeks ago with his short game and he is putting well.
"We haven't seen him dominate from tee to green since he started working with Pete, but we have to give that relationship time.
"You certainly can't dismiss Rory McIlroy this week. He has pretty decent form around this course. It is long and needs a big hitter to take it on, so it should suit Rory if he finds a bit of form.
"He is still at an age where he will challenge for a lot more majors and I'm sure he will get more in his career."
All eyes will be on Phil Mickelson as he looks to complete a career Grand Slam after his stunning win at the US PGA Championship last month, but McGinley does not expect the veteran American to challenge again.
"Phil doesn't have a great record around Torrey Pines. I know he has lived in San Diego most of his life, and he is familiar with the test, but he is 51 years of age and this course is not suited to his game," he added.
"I'd say there's been a lot of energy drained from him the last two or three weeks with the excitement of everything that's gone on, but it will be very different this week.
"It wasn't crazy to see Phil winning around Kiawah Island. It wasn't crazy to see Padraig performing well around Kiawah Island because that was the exam. It was a test of guile and those two guys have that in abundance.
"Experience was a big thing, the short game was a big thing. This is a very different test to Kiawah Island, and I am really expecting to see one of the top players in the world come to the fore this week, particularly the bigger hitters at the top of the world rankings."
Watch more than 40 hours of live action from all four rounds of the US Open 2021 live and exclusive on Sky Sports Golf
- Collin Morikawa delights in historic Open victory as Shane Lowry finishes 12th
- Rory McIlroy admits he is not patriotic as he prepares to represent Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics
- Outgoing Open champion Shane Lowry hopes he has made the cut for the Ryder Cup
- Rory McIlroy hopes Olympics will get his game back in shape amid Covid-19 fears
- Shane Lowry clinging to Open title belief on final day after battling display
- Six people taken to hospital after fairground ride incident in Ulster seaside town of Carrickfergus
- Four teens arrested over suspected gang attack on Bettystown beach released without charge
- Woman whose crime gang supplied over half a tonne of cocaine and laundered millions is jailed
- Kinahan enforcer Gerard Mackin laps up sunshine in Spain as his associates remain behind bars
- Lions player ratings: Jack Conan the standout Irish performer as Springboks are beaten