Defending U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy heads into this year's tournament hoping to become one of just a few golfers to win the Grand Slam event in back-to-back years. Although McIlroy had struggled a bit in recent months, he made a strong showing at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis over the past weekend heading into the Open.
According to Mark Conley of the Mercury News, the No. 2 golfer in the world is taking away a lot of positives from his seventh-place finish at St. Jude.
"I shot a couple of good scores and I saw some really positive signs," he said. "Looking back on the week, it was a really good idea that I went there. I definitely feel more comfortable about my game going into this week than if I hadn't played.
"You're not just happy with top 10s any more. It's a good result, but it's not what you want," he said. "It's really given me a lot of self-belief knowing that I've won one of these before and that I can go and do it again. ... In golfing terms, it's changed me a lot. I feel like it's given me a lot of confidence. And I feel like I have a chance in these tournaments every time I tee it up."
McIlroy certainly has a chance. Though the competition will be fierce -- and the scoring is expected to be tight -- he could very well wind up with his second straight U.S. Open title.