Golf

Published 1922 GMT (0322 HKT) July 15, 2014
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Rory McIlroy says he has fallen in love with golf again as he prepares to compete in the British Open at Hoylake in Liverpool. "I'm a golfer first and foremost, the last month or so I've really buried my head in my golf game," he told CNN's Living Golf show. Tom Pennington/Getty Images
McIlroy recently called off his engagement to Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, a move which triggered a wealth of press interest. The two-time major champion said the issuing of wedding invitations had convinced him he wasn't ready for all that marriage entails. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Just a few days after the split was announced McIlroy pitched up at the European Tour's flagship event -- the PGA Championship -- and promptly won. It was his first big tournament win in Europe. Afterwards he said: "It's been a weird week." Getty Images
McIlroy's best performance at The British Open to date was his third place at St Andrew's in 2010. He led after the first day but shot 80 the next to sink down the leaderboard. "It was my first time leading a major after the first round and I didn't really handle it that well," he said. Andrew Redington/Getty Images
McIlroy's form has fluctuated since his win at Wentworth. He missed the cut at the Irish Open before finishing tied for 14th at the Scottish Open last weekend. He broke the course record on the opening day before suffering another slump the next. Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
McIlroy has utilized the time he has spent in his native Northern Ireland prior to the British Open to get his game in good shape for links golf. "I'll be getting as much practice around the greens because that's where you have a lot of variety and play shots you normally don't play on tour," he said. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
McIlroy recently went on holiday to Ibiza with friends, his first lads' trip in four years, he told The Telegraph newspaper. "It was great, chilled out and it was nice to get away from the game for a bit," he said. "I didn't touch a golf club while I was there. But once I got back, I really wanted to get back into it again." Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Whatever happens, McIlroy is sure to attract big galleries and large support in Liverpool, especially given its proximity to Ireland. He goes out on Thursday at 9.26am local time, with playing partners Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and America's Jordan Spieth. Rob Carr/Getty Images