McIlroy targets Scottish Open boost before turning attention to Portrush

Rory McIlroy has vowed to give this week’s Scottish Open his complete focus as he aims for a title boost before The Open Championship.

For the first time in McIlroy’s lifetime, Northern Ireland will host The Open next week when the tournament comes to Royal Portrush.

The focus on him will be more intense than ever and McIlroy will want to justify the attention in front of a home crowd.

He sees this week’s European Tour event, starting on Thursday, as a great opportunity to win in Scotland for the first time.

And if four-time major winner McIlroy achieves his goal of being in contention by Sunday afternoon at North Berwick’s Renaissance Club it will have been a week well spent.

He said: “I’m here fully focused on this event. I think it’s a little disrespectful when people come in and they are treating it as a warm-up.”

McIlroy said the Scottish Open was an event of “stature”, and the involvement of Justin Thomas, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler underlines his argument.

World number three McIlroy added, according to the European Tour website: “I’m fully focused on getting out there and playing well this week and trying to get myself in the mix.

“I’m playing this event with two eyes firmly focused on the Scottish Open. I want to get myself into contention and have a chance to win a golf tournament.

“I think if I do that, that’s the best way to prepare for next week.”