2024 PGA Championship: Is It Rory McIlroy's Time To Shine (again)?

Rory McIlroy - 2014 PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy - 2014 PGA Championship / Andrew Redington/GettyImages

Coming off back-to-back wins on the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy is one of the odds-on favorites to win the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club. Having just come from behind to beat a top 5 player in the world, McIlroy is showing off his driving prowess and proving why golf gurus from Chamblee to McGinley have labeled him arguably the best driver of the golf ball in history.

This same scenario played out 10 years ago when a then-25-year-old McIlroy won the British Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and capped off the run with his fourth major and second in a row, the PGA Championship at…wait for it…Valhalla Golf Club.

The symmetry is hard to ignore, and you’ll hear plenty about the similarities this week as media coverage heats up ahead of the 2024 PGA Championship from Louisville, KY.

For fans of the Northern Irishman – whose major drought features near misses including 2023’s US Open – the anticipation and hype surrounding this year’s PGA just ramped up tenfold.

Rory McIlroy won in Dubai earlier this year

McIlroy’s 2024 campaign kicked off in style as he seized the DP World Tour’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic in the Middle East before a string of indifferent finishes and seemingly average play on the PGA Tour (at least by McIlroy standards) had pundits questioning whether the gap between World Number 1 Scottie Scheffler and Number 2 Rory McIlroy was insurmountable.

Although their difference in world ranking points is great, the gap in their level of play has certainly narrowed thanks to McIlroy’s team win (with Shane Lowry) at the Zurich Classic and fourth career win at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte this past Sunday.

Admitting to struggles with his swing this season, McIlroy sought out the advice of legendary golf coach, Butch Harmon to help see if he could pinpoint why McIlroy’s greatest weapon, his driver, was suddenly missing both left and right.

That trip to Las Vegas to consult with Harmon wasn’t so much about the technical aspect of his swing, but more about finding a feeling that could work for McIlroy as the meatier part of the season approached.

“And again, just a couple of things that resonated with me from the trip to Vegas to see Butch,” McIlroy said. “But yeah, it’s (the swing) feeling a little more cohesive I guess is probably the right word.”

All it took was for a few key swing thoughts to fall into place, a “boys’ weekend” in New Orleans that saw long-time friends McIlroy and Lowry hoist the trophy, and a visit to one of his favorite courses on Tour, for that vintage McIlroy confidence to reappear.

light. Next. 2024 PGA Championship Power Ranks. 2024 PGA Championship power rankings

The question now is, can McIlroy carry that momentum into a major championship and ride it all the way through the finish line? I bet if you asked 2014 Rory, he’d give a little wry smile and wink, and ask you, “What do you think?”