Just five weeks after injuring himself playing soccer, and months before traditional wisdom says he would be fit for athletic competition, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy has declared himself ready for this week’s PGA Championship, one of two Majors he won a year ago, and his first action since the US Open on June 21.
To play golf, it’s 100%,” McIlroy said Monday. “To go back on a soccer pitch, it wouldn’t be quite ready. But to do what I need to do this week, it’s 100%”
He’ll be tested from the get-go by tough competition in the first two rounds of the PGA Championship, as he grouped with No. 2 Jordan Spieth and Open Championship winner Zach Johnson.
McIlroy is after his third PGA Championship in four years. No player has won back-to-back titles at the PGA since Tiger Woods did so in 2006 and 2007, also doing so in 1999 and 2000. Before that, the only men to win consecutive titles at the PGA did so in the match play era: Denny Shute (1936-1937); Walter Hagen (1924-1927), Gene Sarazen (1922-1923), and Jim Barnes, who won in both 1916 and 1919, with the tournament cancelled in 1917-1918 because of World War I.