One other question was little more tricky.
Ultimately, there’s always a player or two who pops up and surprises you. Spieth has four wins this year, one more than McIlroy, though two of them are majors.
Asked who the best player in the world is, McIlroy said: “If you were to go by this year, you would have to say Jordan”.
“It’s great. We’re all very happy to see him back”.
And what was his opinion?
The shine came off golf when Spieth’s bid for the Grand Slam ended at St. Andrews.
Zach Johnson acknowledges that long, hard Whistling Straits is not his favourite PGA Championship venue, but do not rule him out this week.
Woods, however, said he had never listened to unsolicited advice about his game at any point during a stellar career that has produced 79 PGA Tour victories, including 14 major titles. “I think he and I just want to go out there and try and win the tournament. I don’t see any reason why I can’t bring the sort of form that I’ve shown in practice rounds and on the range to the tee on Thursday afternoon”.
“Hopefully, we can all get into contention, and it will certainly be exciting”.
Besides, he said his short game has remained sharp because he has been working on it all along. It didn’t cross his mind when he played the 18th hole the following year, perhaps because Firestone is a course he plays every year and because Furyk is used to getting over failure.
“Seventy-two holes, playing with no pain, no swelling, nothing like that”, McIlroy said. And he knew he was ready. I think they’re far from done.
The same internal dialogue that drove McIlroy to two majors last season has been a tortured companion over the last five weeks of relative inactivity, repeatedly reminding himself that it’s not the limelight he seeks as much as it is all the accomplishments that land a champion at center stage.
“Outside of maybe the sand traps and the way they look, it’s not a links golf course“.
But at Whistling Straits all sandy areas are considered bunkers, even if they’re outside or near the ropes. It will have been 53 days without competition when McIlroy tees it up Thursday.
“An average person that goes to the physio three times a week will probably take between six and eight weeks”, McIlroy said. And with everything that happened that day, I mean I played phenomenal golf at the Open Championship.
“That’s what I have done over most of my career”. This isn’t a chance to make history. There’s a new breed of American players coming through, highlighted by Jordan Spieth. And when McIlroy severely injured his left ankle playing soccer with friends on July 6, the world No. 1 officially became an afterthought, however temporarily.
His first goal, outlandish as it might seem, is to make the cut.
It has come awfully quickly for the just-turned 22-year-old, who started the year with a goal of making the cut in all four majors.
So one box has been checked in a major way. “I played good here five years ago, had a really nice Sunday round (68) which got me a little top-10, so I’m really looking forward to this week”.