Belfast Telegraph

I haven't played well enough when it matters, admits Rory


Taking aim: Rory McIlroy during a US PGA practice round in St Louis yesterday
Taking aim: Rory McIlroy during a US PGA practice round in St Louis yesterday

By Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy might have failed to win from the final group four times this year, but despite his problematic wedge game he believes he's 'close' to firing on all cylinders again and capable of winning Major No.5 at this week's US PGA.

The Holywood star has won two US PGA titles since 2012 and knows that if he continues to put himself in contention as he has done all season, the door may finally open for him at Bellerive Country Club in St Louis, where 'quintessential target golf' will be the order of the day.

"It's certainly close," said McIlroy, who tees it up with Tiger Woods and defending champion Justin Thomas in the first two rounds on what will be a long and soft course, starting tomorrow.

"I've kept giving myself chances this year. I haven't closed out those tournaments as I would have liked, but at least I'm putting myself in position, and that's all I can do.

"The only thing I haven't done is win enough. I've given myself a lot of chances. I played in a lot of final groups and I haven't played well enough when it's counted.

"So that's something that I'm just trying to go through and trying to figure out what I need to do to make that little step from contending and getting into final groups to lifting trophies."

His wedge play, especially inside 100 yards, is a glaring weakness and while he's working hard to improve, he feels his swing is close to where it was in 2014.

"I've definitely become a little more rotational in my swing over the past couple of years, and some of that is through bad habit and some is through injury," he said, adding that the only Major he feels he had a real chance to win since 2014 was The Open at Carnoustie last month.

"The last time I won a Major in 2014 at Valhalla, I think that's one of the best times - I swung the club really well at that point in time."

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