McIlroy likes Ocean view
94th USPGA CHAMPIONSHIP:This is how it is. The pesky and ubiquitous mosquitoes have been biting, with even blue-blooded golfers – among the richest sportsmen on the planet – susceptible to their nibbling. The thunderstorms have been frequent, so that the course here at Kiawah Island will play soft and long. And Rory McIlroy, one of those super-bombers flexing their muscles for his 94th edition of the US PGA, has some serious intent.
In his march to a maiden Major title in the US Open at Congressional last year, the weather gods collaborated by offering a soft course primed for his ability to hit the ball long and straight off the tee. A case of déjà vu, perhaps? The difference, of course, is that this Ocean Course is at sea level with the wind coming in off the Atlantic containing heavier air. The ball doesn’t travel as far as it would on an inland, parkland course.
Yet, McIlroy – who has underperformed in each of the season’s opening three Majors – is convinced he has turned things around in time to contend in the PGA, the final Major of the year and known, for good reason, as ‘Glory’s Last Shot’.
The aim? “To get into contention, to give myself a chance to win on Sunday,” replied McIlroy, adding: “That’s all I can ask for. If I feel like I have a decent chance going into Sunday, that’s all I can ask for.”
In his three Majors this season, McIlroy has finished 40th in the Masters, missed the cut in his defence of the US Open and came a lowly 60th in the British Open.
“If I could make up for those three finishes with a good one here this week, I’d be a lot happier. It is the last chance to have a nice holiday in Bermuda (at the Grand Slam of Golf) in Bermuda in October.
“It’s a little bit of pressure, that you want to do well at the last Major of the season but I am inspired by the way I played last week and, if I can bring that from into this week and hit the ball well, then I should fare better than I have in the other three Majors this season,” said McIlroy.
In assessing his grade up to now this season as a “B” and the mid-part as “a bit of a struggle”, the world number three opined: “Some weeks (like Congressional) you feel it and everything goes well. I wish I had more weeks like that, but that’s golf. That’s what the best players do, learn how to win when they’re not playing with their A-game, and that’s something I’m still learning how to do.”