McIlroy looks to Clarke for mastering windy course

Killarney: US Open champion Rory McIlroy said he needs to emulate compatriot Darren Clarke and learn how to play in windy conditions if he is to have a better chance of adding a British Open title to his C.V.

The 22-year-old Northern Irishman struggled in the wind and rain of Royal St George`s earlier this month and tied for 25th place at Sandwich.

"(British Open champion) Darren`s unbelievable in the wind and he knows how to play the right shot at the right time and maybe if I go out and play with him I could learn," McIlroy told reporters at the Irish Open at Killarney.

"I was very frustrated coming off the course at Sandwich. I feel as if I did get an Open championship where the weather was quite benign I`d have a lot better chance of contending.”

"It was tough. I`m going to have to learn how to play in those conditions, going forward. We don`t really have that much practice when it`s blowing 30mph; you don`t want to go out and hit that many balls (on the range).”

"It`s going to happen in the future where we have conditions like that. You just have to deal with them as best you can."

McIlroy lines up this week in an Irish Open field that includes Clarke, 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell and three-times major winner Padraig Harrington.

Before playing the pro-am with Ireland`s Prime Minister Enda Kenny, McIlroy was presented with honorary life membership of the European Tour. Clarke, 42, also received the award from Mr Kenny and European Tour chief executive George O`Grady.

McIlory is the youngest to receive the award, outdoing 2010 U.S. PGA champion Martin Kaymer by three years.

Bureau Report

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