McIlroy maintains game is almost there
Defending champion one of six Irish in the field for season’s final major at Oak Hill
Rory McIlroy: ‘I keep saying my game doesn’t feel too far away’. Photograph: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images.
Waiting, still waiting. For something to click into place. For a spark. For something. Rory McIlroy left Akron – flying on to Rochester – with a sense that he was “definitely going in the right direction,” after a tied-27th finish in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
His defence of the US PGA – won so impressively at Kiawah Island a year ago - will pose further questions of the Ulsterman’s current form, but McIlroy, for one, maintained a now familiar mantra. “I keep saying my game doesn’t feel too far away. It’s obviously not where I want it to be, but it’s not a million miles away.”
McIlroy is one of six Irish players in the 156-man field for the PGA at Oak Hill, where Pádraig Harrington - who missed the cut in the Reno-Tahoe Open, his final tune-up - was one of the early arrivals on Sunday, along with Shaun Micheel, the winner here in 2003, and Vijay Singh. Graeme McDowell, Shane Lowry, Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke are also competing.
McDowell and Lowry at least fine-tuned for the season’s last Major by completing their fourth round work at the Bridgestone. McDowell claimed his ball-striking “improved” as the tournament progressed. “I still have a few things to work on but the key was getting my golf swing back and I feel like I’ve done that well,” said McDowell, who has won three times on the US and European Tours this season, most recently at the French Open last month.
Lowry, meanwhile, has lined-up a practice round today (TUES) with McGinley, who is playing on an invite from the PGA of America which is extended to the European Ryder Cup captain. “My golf is as good as it has been for a while. I’m really excited about heading to the PGA and, given the greens will be slower (than Akron), I hope to hole a few more putts and put myself into contention,” said Lowry.