British Open 2012: Rory McIlroy Ready To Play Without Pressure

We already know that Tiger, Phil and Bubba will garner a heavy following from the British Open gallery and that Luke Donald and Lee Westwood will be monitored closely by the local fans and media.

So what does that mean for golf's budding superstar ,Rory McIlroy?

A chance to relax, more or less, as he prepares for golf's third major of the season.

"It's been lovely just going about my business," McIlroy said during a media session Tuesday. "It's been nice to sort of prepare and there's definitely not the madness that was going on last year."

Already a one-time major winner, McIlroy, 23, seems to prefer it that way.

After a disappointing 25th place finish the 2011 British Open, McIlroy struggled to compete as the center of attention, especially on a quirky Royal St. George's track that brings with it unique weather conditions.

Since then in major championship play, McIlroy has finished 64th in the 2011 PGA Championship, 40th in the 2012 Masters, and didn't even see the weekend in June's U.S. Open.

Still, there's no doubt McIlroy will be one of the few golfers we're all tracking on the leaderboard beginning Thursday morning, but the raw pressure some of his competitors will be facing will likely put the Northern Ireland native at ease as he looks to capture the Claret Jug at Royal Lytham.

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