Postage Stamp sends a warning to McIlroy


Rory McIlroy endured a miserable time playing the famous Postage Stamp hole at Royal Troon for the first time, but hopes he at least got the struggle out of the way early.

Featuring a tiny green surrounded by devilishly difficult bunkers, the eighth hole is a mere 123 yards - the shortest in Open Championship golf - but it can ruin a scorecard.

McIlroy, who has not played the course before, found out just how tough it can be during a practice round on Tuesday.

"I think I took an eight or a nine, so that didn't go too well," he said. "I headed into the front right bunker and it took me five or six goes to get out of it.

"There is a lot of sand in the bunker. So when the ball just trickles in back into the bunkers, it doesn't go into the middle. It stays.

"Obviously that lip there is basically vertical, so it just stayed there. And every time I tried to get it out, it would go back into the same spot.

"So [it was a] bit of a struggle at the Postage Stamp for me. Hopefully the struggle is out of the way for that hole."

The 27-year-old was unable to defend his crown at St Andrews last year due to an injury suffered playing football with friends, but felt the experience of being forced to take a watching brief gave him some much-needed perspective. 

"I actually thought it was going to be more difficult watching it," added the Northern Irishman. "I felt like I was going in there with some form. Not to be able to have a chance was disappointing.

"But I actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed watching over the weekend, as funny as that sounds.

"But I realised that it put things in perspective for me, as well. I think I went to the gym or I went to the pool as the play-offs started and I was rehabbing my ankle at the time and everything.

"People were just going and doing their daily routines and doing their thing, and it just put it in perspective to me.

"When you're here it seems like it's everything to you. But you look outside in the bigger, wider world, and it's not the be all and end all.

"It's obviously very important to me and important to a lot of people, but [it] just sort of put things into perspective for me a little bit."