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McIlroy anticipating arduous US Open

Updated: Monday, 30 Apr 2012 22:05

Rory McIlroy obliterated his rivals at Congressional in 2011
Rory McIlroy obliterated his rivals at Congressional in 2011

Rory McIlroy is expecting a far stiffer test when he defends the US Open in six weeks' time - but not because he knocked four shots off the championship record last year.

The weather is likely to dictate that the Olympic Club in San Francisco will be fast and fiery for the second major of the season.

McIlroy was 16 under par and eight clear of the rest at Congressional near Washington, and said: "The thing that made the scoring low was the fact they got so much rain before.

"Last year was a bit of an exception. I'm expecting something around level par isn't going to be too far away."

That was the score with which Lee Janzen won the title the last time Olympic staged the event in 1998 - and Jack Fleck and Ben Hogan tied on seven over par back in 1955.

Pebble Beach was firm when Graeme McDowell won two years ago, with McIlroy missing the cut on that occasion.

"At that point I was not playing so well," the 22-year-old added. "I was not in control of my ball."

The recent Masters was billed as McIlroy versus Tiger Woods in some quarters, but it did not turn out like that.

"It was a two-horse race for 40th," he said, remembering that they finished level.

"Hopefully we both play a bit better at Olympic. It would be great to get into contention and if he's there as well."

Nobody has made a successful defence of the title since Curtis Strange in 1989.