Five take-homes from chatting with Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy was in expansive mood as he talked through his Open Championship hopes at Royal Birkdale.
From injuries to his mental approach, advice for young amateurs to chances for the week, the four-time major champion was certainly forthcoming.
The former world number one will tee up tomorrow alongside the man currently at the top of the list, Dustin Johnson, and two-time major winner Charl Schwartzel.
Big galleries are guaranteed - and McIlroy wins the prize the for the biggest media turnout of the week in his news conference too.
Here's five things we learned from chatting with Rory:
1. You drive for show and putt for dough
Rory's got a one iron back in his bag - which he thinks will get some heavy use this week - and a new putter too.
He said: "I'm happy with what I have in the bag but at the end of the day the putter is only two percent of what it is; 98 percent is the guy that's holding it. I've done a good bit of work on it. I feel like there's a little more flow to my putting than there might have been a few weeks ago."
2. He's not lost his hunger
Four major titles - the last being the 2014 PGA Championship - Rory hasn't lost his desire for titles despite a tough season of injuries.
He said: "I want to win this week but I don't need to win. I'm still as ambitious now as I was starting off my career, if not more so now because I know what I've achieved and I know what I can achieve. I definitely haven't lost the hunger that I've always had."
3. Golf is a mental sport
Rory certainly can agree with that Arnold Palmer quote: "Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated."
He said: "Golf is more mental than physical at the end of the day. If you believe in what you're doing and you believe in yourself that's half the battle.
"The two best players ever, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, were both so strong mentally. It's really about knowing yourself and knowing what works for you and what thoughts work and what techniques work."
4. Advice for the amateurs and Open rookies
This is Rory's eighth start at The Open; he made his debut as an amateur in 2007, finishing in a tie for 42nd.
He said: If you play well, you're walking down the 18th and the grandstands are full, and you get a reception going on on the 18th green - it's pretty cool when that happens for the first time. So just enjoy it. Relish it. Take in as much as you can, and that will serve you the next time that you play.
5. Don't worry too much about the draw
Lots has been made of where players are drawn and how it can impact on their hopes. Rory is pretty laid back about it.
He said: "I've been on the wrong side and I've been on the right side but Padraig Harrington won from the 'bad' side of the draw. It can be done. You just have to stick in there and make the most of whatever the weather presents you and go with that."