McIlroy positive about PGA chances

Rory McIlroy is far more upbeat about his chances at this week’s major than he was a month ago at Sandwich.

Rory McIlroy is far more upbeat about his chances at the USPGA Championship this week than he was a month ago at Sandwich.

The biggest reason for that is simply because he is feeling good about his game, coming off a sixth-place finish in last week’s Bridgestone Invitational, but he also feels that things are a bit more settled now than they were at the Open last month, his first tournament back in action following his historic US Open win.

McIlroy also likes the setup at Atlanta Athletic Club, which he feels suits his game.

“I’m playing very well,” the 22-year-old told Press Association Sport on Wednesday.

“I drove the ball great last week, I’m hitting it nicely, I felt as if I got a really good practice round in yesterday, got all the greens mapped out.

“As long as I can hole a few putts this week, I feel as if I’m in with a good chance.”

McIlroy, who could become the youngest player to win two majors since Gene Sarazen did it almost 90 years ago, felt that things were finally starting to get back to normal at Akron last week after the whirlwind of activity that came as a result of his major victory.

“It was a little bit of a whirlwind after what happened at Congressional, but it’s nice to feel like you’re back out there focusing on trying to win golf tournaments,” he said.

“When you dream of winning big tournaments as a kid and you dream of becoming a great golfer, all you think about is the golf.

“You think about how great it is to hopefully be one of the best players in the world and you never really think of the other side of it – the attention, the spotlight.

“It’s just something that I’m still getting used to, but it’s a nice position to be in. I’m not complaining.”

As for the course in Atlanta this week, McIlroy is more than satisfied, in stark contrast to how he felt about Royal St George’s and the conditions at the Open last month.

“I think it really suits my game. It puts a premium on ball-striking and I’m looking forward to getting going. I’ve always thought as if this and The Masters would probably be the two that suited me most.

“I feel very comfortable in this country and playing on the types of golf courses over here. I also get a great response from the crowds – I feel the reception I get is like an American player.”