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McIlroy to attempt back-to-back Open Wins
Rory McIlroy will try to emulate Tiger Woods at Royal St George’s by winning the British Open four weeks after winning the US Open.

Teeing off at 9:09am local time, Northern Ireland’s McIlroy will be carrying the weight of expectation on his 22-year-old shoulders. Having lifted the first trophy at Congressional Country Club outside Washington, the young Ulsterman has already started being given the moniker “Tiger Woods II” by his legions of new fans.

The original version was two years older when he became the last to achieve the distinction in 2000 when shocked the world by winning the US Open at Pebble Beach by 15 strokes and then storming St Andrews and winning the British version by eight.

Disappointingly, Woods will not be on hand to contend with golf’s hottest property. The 35-year-old will be convalescing at home from the injuries to his left knee and left Achilles tendon that occurred during the Masters in April.

Despite the injuries, Woods is bullish about his prospects in the face of doubts that have been cast on his career.

"I think my best years are still ahead of me, and I'm very confident and optimistic about the future," he said on his official website.

Without Woods and with the last Masters winner Mickelson known to struggle across the pond the new generation of Americans – including Nick Watney, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler – will bear the brunt of expectation. The group have given Mickelson the confidence to say, “I’m actually very encouraged with where our American golfers are.” 

For further motivation, Team USA need only remember the last time the British Open was held in this part of south-eastern England. In 2003 Ben Curtis went from complete anonymity to stardom by winning the Auld Claret Jug trophy from Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn.

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