Rory McIlroy played well throughout the 2013 PGA Championship, but couldn’t quite factor on Sunday.
Rounds of 69-71-67-70 (-3) netted him T-8th. McIlroy was seven shots back of champion Jason Dufner and five back of second.
McIlroy would love to get a crack at a similar course setup to 2013. He has the advantage few have in the field having competed at Oak Hill once before.
"“I thought they set the golf course up fantastically well, because you miss a drive by a long way, you’re in trouble and if you miss it just a fraction, you still have a chance,” McIlroy was transcribed by ASAP Sports in 2013. “You still have to play a great shot but you still had a chance to get it on the green and have a chance for birdie.”"
McIlroy’s biggest event each year will be the Masters to cap off the career Grand Slam, but ending the major drought that’s nearing a decade here at Oak Hill could be the first step he needs to take before he can get it done at Augusta National.
The Northern Irishman’s won on two different tours since the fall. He hoisted a trophy at the DP World Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic and PGA Tour’s CJ Cup.
McIlroy also took T-2nd at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and third at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
The 34-year-old leads the PGA Tour in driving distance (328.2). He’s 14th or better in every strokes gained category except for putting. Unfortunately for him, the flat stick has him in 167th in SG putting.
It’s been a bit of a tough past month or so for McIlroy with the disappointing missed cut at the Masters, as well as the criticism he received for missing his second designated event of the season at the RBC Heritage.
When he returned to action at the Wells Fargo Championship, McIlroy trudged to a T-47th at Quail Hollow.
Perhaps he was a little meek in showing his face back on tour, but I think he’ll have turned the page by the time he gets to New York.
He’s also working in new wedges and a new/old putter within the last month, which can take some time. The putter is similar to what won him his first two majors.
This doesn’t quite feel like the spot for McIlroy to win his fifth major, but I’m hoping for the spectacle of him being in the mix with the likes of Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler, who have stood above the rest in 2023.