McIlroy: I’m a way better player than 2014 PGA Championship win

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Although his wait for a fifth major title is ticking ever closer to the ten-year mark, Rory McIlroy insists he is a better player than he was when he won his fourth major at the 2014 PGA Championship in Valhalla.

McIlroy will return to the site of his last major triumph this week, buoyed by back-to-back wins as he was in 2014.

Since he won his last major title, McIlroy has won three FedEx Cup titles, three Race to Dubai titles, 23 tournaments and had several stints at world number one. Although a breakthrough in golf’s big four events has eluded him over the last decade he feels he is a much improved player.

“Yeah, when you play an eight-hole stretch in 8 under par, it feels a little like that,” said McIlroy when asked if his Wells Fargo masterclass felt like the Rory of old.

“I’ve been sort of banging this drum for the last few years, but I’m a way better player now than I was back then. I haven’t had the major record to back that up, but I’ve had the wins, I’ve done everything else there is to do in the game since 2014.

“The only thing I need to do is get another major. You know, a win like this going into the PGA Championship next week is a good way to prep for that.”

Perhaps the stars are aligning for McIlroy who has won the Zurich Classic and the Wells Fargo in consecutive events while in 2014 he headed into the PGA Championship having won the Open Championship and a WGC in successive weeks.

“It’s really funny, so going into Valhalla in 2014 I had won my last two starts, and going into this year I’ve won my last two starts. Just need to try to replicate whatever I did in 2014, just try to do that all over again.

“Yeah, I’m feeling really good with my game. I need to stay in my own little world next week and not get too far ahead of myself, but if you can step on to the first tee at Valhalla on Thursday and feel as good about my game as I did today, I think I’ll have a good chance.”

McIlroy’s win came amidst a backdrop of being rejected from returning to the PGA TOUR policy board, six months after resigning from his position. The Holywood man was able to put that to one side and he hopes to do so again this week.

“I don’t mind it. I’ve always been able to compartmentalize pretty well. I seem to for whatever reason play very good golf whenever I have a lot of stuff going on. I don’t know if it’s — I need that just to really, when I get on the course really focus on what I’m doing out there, but yeah, it seems to work.”


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