Golf

Rory McIlroy set to defend USPGA Championship

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Rory McIlroy will take to the fairways at Whistling Straits as he aims to defend his title at the final major of the calendar year.

There has been plenty of signs to say that the Northern Irishman will be able to compete, with videos emerging showing him in the gym as well as on the driving range.

McIlroy was also able to get a practice round in and in a brief, unscheduled interview, as he was 'running' towards the car park at Whistling Straits, he said things were good.

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He told PGA.com: "It's good. It's good. Obviously, getting around a golf course like this, playing 18 holes, it felt fine. It doesn't feel ... I mean, it's good. I've come a long way in five weeks.

This has been the five-week mark today from when I did it. I think maybe there's just a little stiffness in the mornings, but it's good."

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So it's good?

Despite the 26-year-old from Hollywood showing a lot of optimism, but struggling with synonyms for the word 'good', he has got his work cut out.

His last professional round was a good one at the US Open, having carded a 66. Since then, he has missed The Open and the WGC Bridgestone after an ankle injury caused by a kick about with friends. He is bound to be rusty.

His absence meant that Jordan Spieth has taken centre stage, with the young american's quest for his calendar Grand Slam followed closely by all. It's all over after a missed putt on 18, cost him the chance to join Zach Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a playoff.

However Spieth still has an opportunity to make history and join Tiger Woods and Ben Hogan as the only men to win three majors in the same year.

Groupings

In true fashion, the three major winners will be in the same group for the first two rounds of the USPGA Championship. However, there are only two players with Spieth holding two majors and Zach Johnson taking the other.

Therefore, as long as there are no hiccups with Rory's ankle, he is due to play with them both as defending champion and World No1.

I think this group will achieve record crowds. As great as the atmosphere would be, I think even if I had the chance, the beer hut would be the best place to view that group.

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Topics:
PGA Championships
Golf
Rory McIlroy

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