Rory McIlroy has decided that attack is the best form for his defence of the US Open title.

The Ulsterman is bidding to become only the second golfer in 61 years to defend the championship.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s first round at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, McIlroy admitted he faces a tough task.

But he also stated that he will be brave and bold as he looks to land a second major.

“I will be using driver this week and I didn’t expect to be saying that before I got here - I thought there would be a lot more irons off tees,” said McIlroy after a practise round on Tuesday.

“I reckon I’m going to use my driver eight or nine times. I’m coming in with the mindset that I’m going to attack the golf course and play aggressively when I can.

“Obviously you have to be smart, but you’ve got to take your chances around here. It gives you a few opportunities where you can make birdies.

“The rough is not as bad as maybe in previous years. You can get away with some tee shots.

Really you just need to know your way around and know where you can miss it.”

Not even a final hole collapse in the FedEx classic in Memphis on Sunday – when he slid down to tied seventh – could dampen McIlroy’s spirits this week.

He added: “It was a really good idea that I went there. I definitely feel more comfortable about my game than if I hadn’t played.

“I’m feeling ready to go. The missed cuts were maybe what I needed - you’ve still got to work hard, put the time and effort in.”

After missing three successive cuts, McIlroy need to play Memphis after adding it to his schedule at the last minute.

The 23-year-old said: “It’s only natural you just start to question yourself and question your game a little bit, but I had a chance to win in Memphis and until the disappointing last few holes I felt like I played some really good golf.”

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