Rory McIlroy picked out by Sandy Lyle to make it all the way in Massachusetts

Rory McIlroy has the 'momentum of winning' to put himself in contention for the 122nd US Open, starting on Thursday at Brookline Country Club, according to Sandy Lyle.

McIlroy will look to end his eight-year major drought at the Massachusetts showpiece tournament and arrives in winning form having held off the challenge of Justin Thomas to successfully defend his RBC Canadian Open crown last Sunday and climb to number three in the world rankings.

The Northern Ireland fans' favourite and 2011 US Open champion could not have timed his victory in Ontario any better, according to two-time major winner Lyle, who says McIlroy has to be a front-runner.

"US Open's are tough but McIlroy, obviously winning in Canada, that couldn't have happened at a better time for him," Lyle told the PA news agency.

"He needed that boost. You can't go into a drug store and buy that boost of energy, of confidence, it has to be earned and that's through winning.

"And that's what he did really well, he looked like he enjoyed it."

World number one Scottie Scheffler heads to Brookline hoping to complete a Masters-US Open double and 2016 US Open winner Dustin Johnson is another contender, along with the likes of Thomas and Spain's Jon Rahm, who will look to defend his title this week.

Lyle revealed 33-year-old McIlroy is his pick to go all the way in Massachusetts judged on his recent form.

He said: "If I was going to put money down, I'd pick McIlroy right now because of momentum of winning.

"(Scottie) Scheffler would be right behind and Dustin Johnson would be next."

READ MORE: US Open: Could the first page of the PGA Championship leaderboard point towards this week's winner?

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