Rory McIlroy wants to give the nation a lift by winning the Open at Royal Liverpool this week – the British nation that is.

Just weeks after confirming he will play for Ireland at the Rio Olympics, McIlroy has spoken of lifting the British nation in light of England’s poor World Cup and Andy Murray’s Wimbledon woes.

Speaking ahead of the Open, which gets underway at Hoylake on Thursday, McIlroy sent out mixed messages on nationality again.

According to a report in the Irish Sun, McIlroy told a pre-tournament press conference that he was gutted to see England fail at the World Cup and Murray surrender his Wimbledon crown.

He said: “The nation needs a bit of a lift at the minute from the World Cup - obviously it didn’t go too well - and Andy getting put out at the quarters at Wimbledon.

“So to get a home-grown winner at the Open would be great for the country.

“It’d be great to see one of the guys, whether it is myself or Justin (Rose) or Graeme (McDowell) or Lee (Westwood) or Luke (Donald), winning.”

McIlroy had confirmed at the recent Irish Open that he will play for Ireland at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

He said in Cork: “I think for me it’s the right decision to play for Ireland, so I’m going to play for Ireland in 2016.

“It was a decision I felt I needed to make myself because it’s something you have to live with. It’s the right decision.”