McIlroy won't "overprepare" for The Open
 Rory McIlroy arriving at the players parking lot before a practice round ahead of the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.  (Copyright USGA/Jason Miczek)

Rory McIlroy arriving at the players parking lot before a practice round ahead of the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.  (Copyright USGA/Jason Miczek)

Rory McIlroy is determined not to repeat his US Open mistake and over-do his preparations for The Open next week.

The world number eight admits he "overprepared" for Shinnecock Hills, playing on 18 of 19 days between the BMW PGA and the Memorial before teeing it up at a host of courses on Long Island in the build-up to the second major of the season, where he missed cut.

He made his major championship debut at Carnoustie as an amateur in 2007, winning the silver medal as Pádraig Harrington became the first golfer from the island of Ireland to lift the Claret Jug for 60 years.

He also knows the course well with his five top 10s in seven starts in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship— hosted by Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and St Andrews—including third place on his debut to secure his European Tour card and three runner-up finishes

"Obviously we play the Dunhill most years, and it's nowhere near what it's going to be like for an Open Championship, so it is nice," he said.  

"I felt like I almost overprepared for Shinnecock.  I was there too long and I was starting to see all the spots you shouldn't hit it in and that's where I was hitting it in.  

“So to know the course and know what to expect, it will be nice."

He has no fears that the R&A will make the same mistakes the USGA made on Long Island last month, when the course dried out on Saturday afternoon and Phil Mickelson was one of many players who let their frustrations get the better of them.

"The Open is never going to get like that because the greens won't get that fast and the greens aren't that slopey," he said. "Even if it gets rock hard, it's still very, very fair and playable."

McIlroy joined the likes of Dustin Johnson at exclusive Queenwood's Pro-Member outing yesterday and planned to spend some time in London before returning to Co Down at the weekend to prepare for Carnoustie.

He's not playing this week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at Gullane, where Graeme McDowell will be trying to win one of three spots in The Open alongside Pádraig Harrington, Paul Dunne and Darren Clarke, who are also in Scotland, and the resting Shane Lowry.

As for last week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, where just six of the world’s top 50 played, 2019 host Paul McGinley knows that a strong field is no guarantee of a successful event.

“Yes it would be nice to have one or two of the Americans come but ultimately the success is not dependent on the quality of the field,” McGinley said of Ballyliffin. “It's more dependent on the weather and we've been blessed with the weather."

He pointed out that the 2015 event at Royal County Down is not remembered fondly despite the presence of 13 of the world’s top 50 that week.

"Would I prefer to have had the quality of the field we had in Royal County Down and terrible weather or would I rather be here with the field we had and unbelievable weather?

"They've been lucky here whereas Royal County Down wasn't lucky."

With the weather an unknown, making Lahinch a big party with a sprinkling of iconic special guests is McGinley’s task now.