McIlroy bids to defend Australian Open title

SYDNEY (AP) Rory McIlroy has confirmed he'll return to defend his Australian Open title.

Top-ranked McIlroy, coming off victories at the British Open and the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, on Wednesday said he'll contest the Nov. 27-30 tournament at The Australian Golf Club.

The 25-year-old Northern Irishman won the title at Royal Sydney last year by a stroke over Australia's Adam Scott and credited the victory with helping him regain his form.

The crowds ''really loved the showdown between myself and Adam. And it proved to be a really important win for me,'' McIlroy said in a statement. ''I believe my return to form was given real momentum in Australia last year.''

McIlroy led from start to finish at Hoylake to win the British Open last month, then overpowered Firestone last weekend to win his first World Golf Championship. Now he is the overwhelming favorite at the PGA Championship.

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