LONDON (AFP) - Rory McIlroy and his new wife Erica have embarked on a three-week golfing and sightseeing "road trip" hoping to return to Northern Ireland at the end of it with a second Claret Jug.
The McIlroys took fellow passengers by surprise when they drove onto Monday morning's Belfast to Cairnryan ferry on their way to Scotland.
The newly-weds took to wheels instead of wings after McIlroy promised American-born Erica a trip to England's picturesque Cotswolds region after next week's Open Championship at Royal Birkdale on the north-west coast.
But the first stop for the 28-year-old is this week's Scottish Open at Dundonald near Irvine in Ayrshire.
It is the first time McIlroy has contested the event since shooting a Royal Aberdeen course-record 64 on day one of the 2014 Scottish Open and a week later heading south to lift the Claret Jug at Hoylake.
"It is nice to have the car and throw everything in the back," he said. "So, we're actually taking a bit of a road trip after Birkdale as Erica already likes the British landscape.
"After The Open I have a day in London with Nike and we are going to visit the Cotswolds."
Among his belongings are a number of different putters, as he tries to iron out the biggest problem area of his game - evidenced by recording 33 putts each day in missing the cut at last week's the Irish Open.
"I need to focus more on my routine and how I approach a putt," admitted the four-time Major champion. "But I think it's fair to say I'm trying to stay patient but it's proving difficult. It always has been. Because you know, look, I feel like I am good enough to win these tournaments, and I've shown that before."