Boost for Rory McIlroy as he rallies for top-10 finish at Bethpage

Having nearly missed the cut after a poor start, Rory McIlroy was left encouraged by a strong finish at the PGA Championship over the weekend.

The Northern Irishman very nearly had the weekend off before he birdying four of his last six holes on Friday to make the cut with a shot to spare.

And he was able to build on that strong finish with successive rounds of 69 on the weekend to ultimately finish the tournament on one over par, a total that only seven players in the field were able to beat.

McIlroy’s turnaround in form was made all the more surprising by the fact that the conditions on the weekend were even tougher, even though his scores were much better.

“It’s so tough out there, but I’ve moved up the leaderboard quite a lot,” said McIlroy, who remains without a major trophy since 2014.

“My goal at the start of the day was to get into the top 10, so I played well and good way to finish off the week. I stuck at it the whole way. It’s a 72-hole golf tournament and you’ve got to try till the very end and I did that this week.

“It wasn’t good enough to be up there in contention but I made improvements each and every day, which is a good thing,” he added.

McIlroy will now compete in The Memorial and the Canadian Open before heading to Pebble Beach for the US Open next month.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said the 30-year-old. “Last time I played Pebble in a US Open, I played with Tom Watson the first two rounds, so that was pretty cool.

“I’m looking forward to that run of golf. Actually my record in the US Open hasn’t been very good the last few years, so I wanted to mix it up a little bit.

“It’s going to be my third tournament in a row, playing Memorial, Canada and then Pebble. Looking forward to that run of golf and looking forward to getting my game sharp and in good shape for that major.”