He remains the Open favourite but having drifted out to 10/1 from 6/1, McIlroy could find Luke Donald ahead of him in the Open betting by the time he strikes his first ball tomorrow.
Very few golf pundits were willing to tip McIlroy to win the Open at such a short price, but now he’s drifted to double figures you may find plenty of people willing to back the young Ulsterman.
With 13 under par rounds in his last 16 Major rounds McIlroy has to be respected this week, especially considering the way he decimated the US Open field on his last start.
There have been plenty of people searching for reasons why McIlroy won’t win this week with terms such as “added pressure” and “lack of preparation” being bandied about, but the Ulsterman’s recent scoring in Majors in incredible and he is in the form of his life.
His links pedigree cannot be questioned and he will revel in the gusty conditions expected at Royal St George’s this week, conditions that have already stopped Luke Donald reaching the fairway from the seventh tee.
McIlroy has no problems with distance off the tee but it will be control rather than distance that gets the professionals through this week and McIlroy is the seventh best player on the European Tour for greens in regulations.
Of all the non-Americans in the field, McIlroy can boast the third best scoring average of the year and only Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar can better the Northern Irishman’s scoring record from the PGA Tour candidates.
Two separate bets of £20,000 were laid by Ladbrokes on McIlroy yesterday and there is strong support from the punters but the bookmakers are willing to take on the US Open Champion.
In the 111-year history of the US Open, only six players (Bobby Jones did it twice) have won both the US Open and the Open in the same season.
If Rory McIlroy is as good as everyone thinks he is, he will join Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazan and Bobby Jones as the seventh member of the elite club.