By Larry King

TROON, Scotland (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy had never played Royal Troon before he came to town last Thursday to get ready for the 145th British Open and after his practice round on Tuesday, you could not blame him if he never played it again.

Specifically, he might not want to play the Postage Stamp, the 123-yard, par-three eighth hole.

"I think I took an eight or a nine," he told a news conference at Troon. "Headed into the front right bunker and it took me like five or six goes to get out of it."

At least he got an idea of how to play the hole when things get serious on Thursday.

"Try to hit it in the middle," he said. "Even hitting it into the middle of the green is a good shot, and then take two putts. If you make four threes there this week, you're probably going to gain a bit of ground on the field."

(Reporting by Larry King; Editing by Toby Davis)