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Rory McIlroy hasn’t had same swagger since shooting 61 at Quail Hollow in 2015… but he can regain it at this week’s US PGA

 

Four-time Major winner will be looking to continue his rich vein of form at the final Major of the season

Rory McIlroy could say the same thing about shooting 61 to win a second Wells Fargo in 2015 at Quail Hollow – which is hosting this week’s USPGA Championship.

Rory McIlroy averaged over 350 yards off the tee at the 2015 PGA tour

Rory McIlroy averaged over 350 yards off the tee at the 2015 PGA tour

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan with the Gary Player Cup after winning the World Golf Championships in 2017

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan with the Gary Player Cup after winning the World Golf Championships in 2017

Supermac’s course record in North Carolina is still talked about with awe on the PGA Tour.

The way he brought a course measuring more than 7,500 yards to its knees, making it resemble a pitch and putt track, was nothing short of sensational.

McIlroy, 28, averaged more than 350 yards off the tee…and hit a nine iron or less into 15 of the 18  greens.  The three exceptions were on par threes measuring well over 200 yards!

His class was summed up on the 16th tee – a 506-yard par four marking the start of Quail Hollow’s notorious Green Mile finish.  It is so called because that is the colour players often turn when faced by it.

McIlroy pounded a drive 354 yards down the middle and hit a gap wedge to within a foot of the flag for an easy  birdie.

He won by seven shots, with a record 26 birdies, and his 21-under  total beat the old course record by  five shots.

McIlroy is a bookies favourite, despite going off the boil in recent Major competitions

McIlroy is a bookies favourite, despite going off the boil in recent Major competitions

Dustin Johnson is the currently World Number 1 in the official World Golf Ranking

Dustin Johnson is the currently World Number 1 in the official World Golf Ranking

It was the perfect response to Jordan Spieth’s 2015 Masters and US Open wins.
And Supermac declared: “I feel like I’m the best player in the world and  wanted to go out and prove it.”

There has not been enough of that swagger since then — although his performances have not exactly warranted it.

Yet McIlroy is a hot favourite at Quail Hollow this week after that 2015  super-show, not to mention    his first-ever US victory there  in 2010 — where he shot a stunning 62.

The Northern Irishman also finished tied-fourth  in last year’s Wells Fargo.

Jimmy Walker won his first major championship title at the PGA Championship in 2016

Jimmy Walker won his first major championship title at the PGA Championship in 2016

He is as low as 6-1 with some bookies, even though the four men alongside him at the top of the   rankings have eclipsed him in big events this year.

Dustin Johnson, the Grand Slam-chasing Jordan Spieth, Matsuyama and Sergio Garcia have all won Majors or World Golf Championship titles.

McIlroy’s tie for fourth at The Open last month was his best effort so far in the game’s biggest championships.

As the final Major of the year, they call the USPGA ‘Glory’s Last Shot’.

Sergio Garcia has won 31 international tournaments as a professional

Sergio Garcia has won 31 international tournaments as a professional

Though there is still one more WGC to come at the HSBC Champions in China — plus  a FedEx Cup title to defend — it really is now or never for the world No 4.
Confidence is  up after  a  share of fifth  in Ohio at the Bridgestone and  that   display at Royal Birkdale.
He said: “I’m playing my best golf of the year, but there’s still  room to improve.

McIlroy was ranked world number one in the official Golf Ranking for 95 weeks

McIlroy was ranked world number one in the official Golf Ranking for 95 weeks

“I  often deliver  my best displays at this time of the year — as my two USPGAs and last year’s FedEx Cup win show.

“I’m excited to be   back at this course. If I’m  favourite, it means I’m playing well — so different than I went into my last Majors.”

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Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/4193346/rory-mcilroy-quail-hollow-us-pga/

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