Rory McIlroy made the most of the U.S. Open's visit to the Northeast this week. After a few mid-week practice rounds at Congressional, a course he said he liked very much, McIlroy made his way up to New York. On Friday he visited Bayonne Golf Club for a clinic and outing hosted by Jumeirah, the Dubai-based luxury hotel and resort company that's one of his main sponsors. While there, McIlroy learned of his U.S. Open glamour grouping with Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson. He considered it briefly before declaring himself pleased with the match-up and the starting times.
From Bayonne, McIlroy was off to spend the weekend at Pine Valley, a pilgrimage he was eagerly anticipating. "I'd never really heard of it until a few years ago," he said. "But once I did, I thought, I have to check it out." McIlroy was set to stay at one of the cottages on the grounds of the southern New Jersey club, and he relished the idea of peace and play. "What I've heard about it, and what I look forward to, is that it's just pure golf."
And a pretty good way to relax and warm up for a U.S. Open.