Rory McIlroy in good form ahead of US Open after winning RBC Canadian Open by seven shots

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Rory McIlroy shot a final round of 61 to win the RBC Canadian Open by seven shots.

The Northern Irishman was in sublime form on Sunday, blitzing the field to finish on 22 under par.

He broke the tournament record by five shots to claim his 16th career PGA Tour title.

McIlroy’s countryman Graeme McDowell secured his spot at the Open Championship in his home town of Portrush after finishing in a tie for eighth.

He needed to finish in the top 10 and drained his monster par putt at the 18th to do just that, finishing alongside Danny Willett and Henrik Stenson on 10 under par.

A birdie at the 18th would have given McIlroy a round of 59 but he bogeyed the last after finding a bunker on his approach to the green.

His win in Ontario is the perfect preparation for the US Open, the third major of the year, which begins on Thursday.

“I just got it going out of the gates. I said at the start of the day I wanted to be aggressive,” McIlroy told Sky Sports.

“I played with so much freedom over the weekend, more freedom than I’ve had for a while, which is exciting. To get a win going into next week is huge.”

McIlroy, who hit nine birdies, an eagle and two bogeys, finished ahead of Webb Simpson, who chipped in on the 18th to tie with Ireland’s Shane Lowry on 15 under par.

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Rory McIlroy wants to make an impact at first Canadian Open

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Rory McIlroy.

Rory McIlroy maintains he is not just using his debut at the RBC Canadian Open as preparation for an assault on the US Open title at Pebble Beach.

The 30-year-old Northern Irishman heads to Hamilton looking to build momentum into the third major of the year and on the back of a disappointing performance at the Memorial Tournament.

Having missed the cut in each of the past three US Open events, McIlroy believes delivering a strong showing through all four rounds in Ontario will be crucial.

“This isn’t just a preparation week. This is a very prestigious tournament, one of the oldest tournaments in the world that I would dearly love to be able to add my name to,” said McIlroy, who claimed his first major triumph with victory in the 2011 US Open at Congressional.

“I’ve heard a lot of great things about Hamilton and I’m excited to be here.

“It’s a very strategic golf course. You’ve got to put it in play off the tee, and I’m definitely going to have to drive it better this week than I did last week.

“There’s a variety of different tee shots that you need to hit, with different clubs, and the greens are going to be a very similar type of grass.

“The rough is pretty thick as well, so if you miss it in the rough you’re doing well to get it up by the green. And then, if you do miss greens, it’s going to be pretty similar in terms of the lies that you get.

McIlroy told reporters at a press conference: “I’m fully focused on this week, but knowing that if I play well here this week, and have good control of my ball and my distance control, that that will serve me well going into next week.”

Defending champion Dustin Johnson will be another looking to make an impact through this weekend.

The American world number two, though, is no longer working directly with long-time coach Claude Harmon III in a new set-up moving forward.

“I’ve always worked with coach (Allen) Terrell, I’ve always worked with Butch (Harmon) and Claude, so it’s not really a change,” Johnson said.

Johnson played the last four Canadian Opens contested at Glen Abbey Golf Club but is ready for the challenge of tackling the shorter Hamilton course, the players having been taken off for spells during Wednesday’s practice round because of rain and dangerous weather conditions.

“It’s kind of an old school golf course. Got to hit it straight, but I like it so far, what I’ve seen,” said Johnson, who finished runner-up at the PGA Championship last month.

“I feel like I’m rested. I’m mentally sharp, and I’m ready to go for the last push through the end of the year.

“I’ve got a lot of really big tournaments coming up, and for me, it’s just about putting myself into position to have a chance to win.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Rory McIlroy moves into contention for third career Wells Fargo International win

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Rory McIlroy fired a five-under-par round of 66 to move into contention for a third career victory at the Wells Fargo International in Charlotte.

Playing in his first tournament since finishing in a tie for 21st place at The Masters last month, McIlroy shared the lead with American Joel Dahmen.

McIlroy, who earned his first PGA Tour win at the Quail Hollow venue in 2010 before reclaiming the title five years later, shot five birdies to leave himself in contention.

There was also a strong performance from Scotland’s Martin Laird, who shot 67 to sit just one stroke behind McIlroy, in a group which also included former Masters champion Patrick Reed.

Justin Rose’s bid to recover from his Masters disappointment did not go entirely to plan as he sat four strokes behind McIlroy after shooting a one-under-par round of 70.

Rose, who missed the cut at Augusta for the first time in his career, recorded three bogeys in an inconsistent round which looks unlikely to put him in a position to challenge the leaders.

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