McIlroy eyes Dunhill Links joy after British Masters near miss

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Rory McIlroy hopes he has rediscovered his game just in time to claim a first tournament win of the year at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship this weekend.

The Northern Irishman finished second at the British Masters on Sunday, carding a superb final-round 63 to finish three shots adrift of Paul Dunne at Close House.

With his season having been blighted by a rib injury, the four-time major winner is yet to secure a title in 2017.

But McIlroy could be primed to finish the year on a high in front of his father Gerry, who will be watching on.

"He rang me a couple of days ago and said 'it's good to see you've got your game in shape for me', so I'm looking forward to it," said McIlroy.

"We always have a great time up there. The weather's not supposed to be too bad, I don't think, so I'm really looking forward to going up there and giving it another shot and trying to win a tournament this year."

Speaking about his near miss in Newcastle, where Dunne produced a near-flawless 61 to hold off McIlroy's menacing charge, the 28-year-old was content with his efforts, having finished 17 under par.

"It was just nice to have a chance to win a golf tournament," he said. "I think that was the big thing and the more chances I have like that, I seem to play better. Mentally I am just a little bit more engaged and switched on.

"I set myself a target on the back nine. I said to myself 'if I can shoot four-under on this back nine and finish 17 under I feel like I will have a chance'.

"So I did everything that I wanted to do, it just wasn't good enough in the end today."

McIlroy has been a runner-up three times at the Alfred Dunill Links.