Rory McIlroy praises Whistling Straits authorities
Course is usually a fair test of golf but it can penalise you if don’t perform, says McIlroy
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
The consistently thrilling element of the US PGA is no coincidence. It is, in fact, testimony to tournament organisers who refuse to let ego get in the way of a golfing major.
The same, suffice to say, cannot be guaranteed elsewhere. Whistling Straits has provided the finest major of 2015.
That is not to dismiss Augusta National, but there is no element of the unpredictably at all for the Masters.
St Andrews, which hosted the British Open, fell victim to the elements. Chambers Bay and the US Open was a different story; poor putting surfaces and the typical, tricked-up elements.
Whistling Straits has plenty going for it. For a start, it is stunning on the eye.
Those behind this tournament could easily make golfing aristocracy look rather silly if they wanted to. Admirably, they take the opposite approach. Short par fours are left as such.
This isn’t a mundane, pitch and putt course for players to butcher but there is plenty of scope for the kind of shot-making which should define major champions.
Rory McIlroy claimed a terrific US PGA last year at Valhalla when 16 under par. On only one occasion since 2006 has the winning score not been minus eight or better.
“It’s usually a fair test of golf, somewhere within 10 to 15-under par usually wins this tournament,” McIlroy explained.
“So it’s not like it prevents the guys from making birdies, but it still penalises you if you don’t hit good shots and I think that’s testament to the PGA of America and obviously to [chief championships officer] Kerry Haigh who sets the golf course up. I think he does a fantastic job.”