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Rory McIlroy needs 6 shots to escape Royal Troon's 'coffin bunker' at The Open

Rory McIlroy hopes he learned how not to play Royal Troon’s par-3 eighth hole with the Postage Stamp green.

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy got up close on Tuesday with Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp hole, and particularly, the front right "Coffin Bunker" -- one of five deep sand traps that protect the green.

In fact, the 2014 Open Championship winner needed six shots to dig his way out of the sand on the par-3 8th that plays just about 120 yards -- an episode he recounted during his press conference following a practice round with Andy Sullivan, Bernd Wiesberger and Matthew Southgate.

"I think I took an 8 or a 9, so that didn't go too well," McIlroy told reporters. "Headed into the front right bunker and it took me like five or six goes to get out of it."

Rory’s Postage Stamp adventures begin at about 5:30 of the Sky Sports video:

McIlroy noted that "a lot of sand" in the bunker caused the ball to return to its spot, which it did five times.

"When the ball just trickles in back into the bunkers, it doesn't go into the middle. It sort of stays," he said. "Obviously that lip there is basically vertical, so it sort of just stayed there. And every time I tried to get it out, it would go back into the same spot."

The four-time major winner, who said during his presser that he had become more conservative and tentative as he’d gotten older, expected to play the Postage Stamp hole exactly that way.

"It's one of those holes where you just try to hit it in the middle of the green, even though it's only 115, 120 yards," he said. "You just have to not be that aggressive … Even hitting it into the middle of the green is a good shot, and then take two putts. If you make four threes there this week, you're probably going to gain a bit of ground on the field."