Michael Hoey knows that he must improve his body language if he is to perform at the highest level. Photo Jenny Matthews/www.golffile.ieMichael Hoey believes he must strut his stuff like Tiger Woods if he is to become a Major player this week.

The Ulsterman, 33, makes his professional debut in the Open today knowing he must keep his eyes up and walk tall like Tiger to boost his confidence.

Confessing he doesn’t give himself enough credit for his game and suffers because of his poor body language, Hoey said: “I’ve been working with the mental coach Karl Morris on keeping my head up.

“As soon as your eyes go down, which I do a lot, you become very internal. If you keep your eyes up, even if you are not feeling good about your game, you feel a lot better.

“Just look at Tiger and all the good players. Their eyeline is always high and I have to try and be more like them. It’s just a fact.”

Rory McIlroy confessed after his final round collapse in the 2011 Masters that he made a mistake when he headed to the first tee with his head down and Hoey is trying to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistake.

The Northern Ireland man made his major debut at Royal Lytham in 2001 as a reward for winning that year’s British Amateur title.

He missed the cut but returns as a four-time European Tour winner looking to make the weekend this time and secure his place in next month’s US PGA.

Set to tee it up with John Daly and Chad Campbell, Hoey added: “LI’d love to make the cut here because I’m 101st in the world rankings and the top 100 get into Kiawah Island.

“I’m already in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational the week before so if I make the cut here that would be a huge boost.”