McIlroy nearing best form as Open looms large

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Rory McIlroy feels his best golf is not far away as he prepares to tee up at the Scottish Open for the first time in three years to step up his preparation for The Open.

The world number four endured a disappointing U.S. Open campaign, failing to make the weekend, while the same fate befell him at last week's Irish Open, either side of a 17th-placed finish at the Travelers Championship.

McIlroy last teed it up at the Scottish Open in 2014, finishing tied for 14th before going on to lift the Claret Jug at Hoylake, and the Northern Irishman will hope history repeats itself three years on.

Regardless of less than satisfactory recent results, McIlroy remained bullish in a media conference on Wednesday at Dundonald Links.

"It's hard to sit up here and stand in front of a camera every single time and say to you guys 'it's close', because I sound a bit like a broken record after a few weeks, but really, it's not far away," McIlroy said.

"I'm positive about it. I'm excited about my game. I feel like I'm doing a lot of good things. And again, it's just putting it all together, not just for one day but for four days and to do it week-in and week-out.

"I think it's fair to say I'm trying to stay patient but it's proving difficult, it always has been for me. I feel like I am good enough to win these tournaments, and I've shown that before.

"And as I keep saying it, I don't feel like my game is that far away, so to stay patient when you feel like that is sometimes quite difficult.

"I feel like all I need is, if I can get a little spark this week and see a few putts go in and shoot a couple of good scores, I feel like that will build a lot of confidence and that will ease that impatience a little bit, I guess.

"Look, I've got a busy summer coming up. I'm potentially playing seven weeks out of eight or seven weeks out of nine. I've got a busy stretch coming up and I'm excited to play."