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‘Dangerous’ McIlroy at Kiawah seeking first major since ’14

Rory McIlroy arrives at the 103rd PGA Championship seeking his first major triumph since 2014 after snapping an 18-month US PGA Tour win drought final week.

And it will not harm that the four-time major winner from Northern Ireland is returning to Kiawah Island, the place he gained the 2012 PGA by a record-setting eight-stroke margin.

“Hopefully history repeats itself,” McIlroy stated. “But I’m just happy that I can hit the golf shots I need to under pressure.

“You simply have to get your self within the place to place your self below strain to hit the photographs that basically matter.”

After struggling through the Covid-19 pandemic while playing without spectators, McIlroy has found his form and won for the first time since the 2019 WGC Shanghai event.

McIlroy won a third career victory at Quail Hollow and his first since becoming a father, wife Erica having given birth to daughter Poppy last year.

“He’s coming off a win,” 2015 PGA winner Jason Day of Australia said. “He’s very assured proper now, so going to be very harmful.”

Nobody recognizes that fact more than McIlroy, who is encouraged and confident after seeing hard work with new coach Pete Cowen pay off.

“This victory is essential going into Kiawah,” he said. “I performed rather well there final time. I’ll go up there and attempt to do my homework and re-familiarize myself with the format a bit bit.

“It’s certainly great timing. This is obviously a huge confidence boost going in there knowing that my game is closer than it has been.”

McIlroy, 32, was solely two when the 1991 Ryder Cup “War on the Shore” was contested on the Ocean course, the US squad edging Europe in a battle full of gamesmanship.

When the golf world returned for the 2012 PGA, McIlroy was overwhelming.

“Only thing I do remember is Rory ran away with it and killed it,” Day stated.

“I remember Rory dominating,” stated two-time major winner Zach Johnson. “Especially the last so many odd holes. I remember the par-3s being brutal.”

Now McIlroy will play a major for the first time on a course the place he has gained a major, and might replicate on the journey he and his recreation have taken.

“I’ve watched a couple of videos over the last few weeks, just sort of trying to refamiliarize myself with the course a little bit,” McIlroy stated.

“I chipped and putted so well that week. That’s the one thing I remember. I got it up and down a lot and my chipping and putting was really good.”

– ‘Resolve is unbelievable’ –

McIlroy says he has extra methods to work his approach across the course than he may pull off 9 years in the past.

“I was probably maybe a little more one dimensional, but it was a very consistent move. I hit this big swooping draw all the time, but it was consistent,” McIlroy stated.

“I’m probably a little more versatile now. I probably have a few more shots in the locker. It’s just a matter of choosing those shots correctly and hitting them at the right times.”

At Quail Hollow, he did simply that, Day stated.

“He was hitting a lot of quality iron shots into the greens. Short game was off the charts and holing a lot of good putts,” Day stated. “Kiawah Island is a pretty big course. He’ll need his distance and his short game going to be crucial.”

Also amongst these anticipating huge issues from McIlroy at Kiawah is reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.

“He has obviously got great chances,” DeChambeau stated. “We all knew he was going to go back and win at some point. He was struggling, but his resolve is incredible and his ability to play the game is undeniably unbelievable, I would say Hall of Fame worthy as time goes on.

“If he continues to enhance, he’ll a drive to be reckoned with for a very long time.”


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