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The Open: Colin Montgomerie says Rory McIlroy will be feeling the pressure at Royal Portrush

By Steve Tervet

Rory McIlroy will be feeling the pressure when he goes for Open Championship glory in his native Northern Ireland.

That’s the view of Colin Montgomerie, who spoke to KentOnline this week ahead of the 148th Open at Royal Portrush.

McIlroy, playing a major on home soil for the first time in his career, tees off his first round today (Thursday) dreaming of an historic triumph.

But Montgomerie said: “There’s a lot of pressure on the Irish guys.

“I had a bit of pressure playing the Scottish Open or when The Open was in Scotland in my heyday back in the 90s.

“There was added pressure and they always get that ten-fold on their shoulders now in Northern Ireland.

“If he does come through, the best to him because he’ll have deserved it fully.

“It’ll be difficult for him to compose himself and to get the job done. When the crowd are so much for you, it sometimes can backfire but it sometimes can be good for you so we wish him well.”

The last of McIlroy’s four major wins came back in 2014 and Montgomerie could see him being upstaged by a compatriot at Portrush.

Rory McIlroy. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Rory McIlroy. Picture: Barry Goodwin

He said: “A lot of people are talking about an Irish winner and if I was going for an Irish winner, I’d probably vote for Shane Lowry.

“I think he’s a very good striker of a golf ball, a good links player who has won the Irish Open before, done well on links courses and I think it could well be his turn.

“But you’ve got to be slightly fortunate with the weather forecast. You can get out at 6.30am and be very good or out at 4.30pm and be very bad. You just don’t know how it’s going to be.

“Brooks Koepka’s going to be there – he’s there every major nowadays – and it would be nice to see Jordan Spieth come back to some form at The Open because he loves that competition.

“But you could say that of 50 people, really.”

Montgomerie is playing the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship at London Golf Club from August 1-4.

Read more: The latest sports news from Kent

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