Rory can make Open cut

By Brian Keogh

Darren Clarke is putting his money where his mouth is and backing Rory McIlroy to make the cut in his first major.

The Ulster kid was a 5-2 shot early on Tuesday and Clarke said he'd jump at those odds.

He said: "It's a great bet. I’ll play a few holes with him tomorrow. Any course is the right course for Rory, he is going to be very good. He is the real deal.

"He has the all round package, he’s got his head screwed on, he works hard on his game and he knows what he is doing."

McIlroy is the favourite to take the Silver Medal awarded to the top amateur making the cut.

Scottish hope and US Amateur champion Richie Ramsay is rated the next best of the six amateurs taking part.

Clarke can't believe that McIlroy is only 18th in the world amateur rankings, though he was No 1 in February.

He said: "He should be No 1. He has an amount of talent to go with it and an awful lot of experience for an 18 year old. He will be very good."