By Andrew Both
KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina (Reuters) – Rory McIlroy has returned to a Kiawah Island course that can be a far different beast at this week’s PGA Championship than when he received there 9 years in the past.
The 2012 PGA Championship was held within the warmth and humidity of August, however has since moved to the extra interesting climate of late spring.
This week’s forecast for vivid sunshine, low humidity and a difficult breeze ought to present a stern check of each side of a participant’s recreation, and McIlroy for one is expecting nothing else.
“One of the biggest differences that I’ve noticed is it’s not going to be as easy around the greens as it was last time,” mentioned the Northern Irishman, who shot 13 below par for an eight-stroke runaway victory in 2012.
“Last time (the rough around the greens was) really strong and dense and lush, so the ball would just sit right up on top and it was so easy to just get your lob wedge out, clip it, spin it. This year they’re a little more bare.”
Seven years faraway from the latest of his 4 main titles, McIlroy missed the reduce at final month’s Masters, although he bounced again with a confidence-boosting win at the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte two weeks in the past.
“It was a great sort of validation that I’m working on the right things, but it was just a step in the process,” McIlroy mentioned of his newest win.
“I’m happy with where my game is, so I guess if I go out and play my game and do what I know that I can do, then I can see myself shooting good scores on this golf course.
“Whether meaning I win or not, that is partly as much as me, however that is partly on how the opposite 155 guys within the area play, as properly.”
As McIlroy fielded a final question about how it had felt in 2012 to capture what was his second major championship, fellow competitor Justin Thomas stood at the back of the interview area, awaiting his turn at the microphone.
Thomas has one major title, the 2017 PGA Championship, and McIlroy could not resist the temptation for a friendly dig at his rival.
“Quite a lot of guys have received one main, but it surely’s a large hurdle to get to the second,” McIlroy said, prompting Thomas to crack up laughing as the American took the joke in good humour.
“It was good to get that monkey off my again. I undoubtedly did not wish to be caught on one for a very long time.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Toby Davis)