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Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 12:32 UK

McIlroy seeks to rediscover form

Venue: County Louth, Baltray, Drogheda Date: 14 May-17 May
Coverage: Live scores on BBC Sport website

Rory McIloroy
McIlroy won the Dubai Desert Classic in February

Rory McIlroy hopes a return to Ireland for the Irish Open at Baltray will revive his early-season form.

After five consecutive top-20 finishes on the US Tour, he finished 58th at the Verizon Heritage event before missing the cut at the Players Championship.

"I'm looking forward to playing it so much, I love links golf," he said.

American John Daly comes into the event after claiming his best result for almost four years with a joint second finish in last weekend's Italian Open.

The 43-year-old, currently serving a six-month ban from the US Tour, has been grouped with Paul McGinley.

After losing 60lb in the last three months, the two-time major champion seems to have found some form, but is wary of the challenge presented by the County Louth course in Baltray.

"It's totally different golf and you've got to have some luck," he said.

"It's more imagination golf, which I love to play. Every hole changes because of the wind - one day it could be a driver and the next day a six-iron.


"I still am not comfortable off any of the tees and that concerns me a little bit."

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie will get a close-up look at McIlroy, one of his potential stars for next year's meeting with the Americans at Celtic Manor, as he tees off alongside the 20-year-old.

"We don't play that much links golf on the European Tour, so it's great that the Irish Open is back here," added McIlroy.

"Returning to it after a couple of months in America playing courses like Augusta and Doral will be a test, but it's a test I'm relishing."

Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke will also be looking to impress in front of home galleries.

A first prize of £450,000 has also attracted a strong contingent from the rest of the UK and beyond with Lee Westwood, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Ross Fisher, Jose Maria Olazabal also taking part.

However Englishman Oliver Wilson may be missing after a recurrence of an neck injury during the Players Championship at Sawgrass.

The world number 42, who is due to play with McGinley and Daly, has been receiving treatment ahead of Thursday's start.

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see also
Vancsik holds off Daly in Italy
10 May 09 |  Golf
Slimline Daly dazzles in Spain
30 Apr 09 |  Golf
McIlroy ends Masters on high note
12 Apr 09 |  Golf
Daly admits PGA Tour suspension
01 Jan 09 |  Golf
Golfing sensation home after win
04 Feb 09 |  Northern Ireland
McIlroy wins first title in Dubai
01 Feb 09 |  Golf

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