Sunday, 13 August 2017
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy fired a three under par 68 to end his US PGA Championship on  a high note but admitted the rest of his season could be in doubt due to his ongoing injury problems.

The Northern Irishman arrived at Quail Hollow as one of the favourites with two wins, a play-off defeat and a course record at the Charlotte layout but he never looked completely comfortable over the first three days.

With changes to the layout and the grass having an effect, he went 72-72-73 to see his chances of a fifth Major Championship disappear before finding his touch on Sunday.

McIlroy sustained a rib injury testing equipment during the off season and it flared up during his play-off defeat to Graeme Storm at the BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni.

He has since missed spells of the season and admits he may need a period of prolonged rest to truly get himself back to full fitness.

"I want to get back into that winner's circle," he said. "You don't want to be teeing off at 9.45 on the final round of a Major on a Sunday, that is not where you want to be. I have a good bit of time to get healthy and address a few things going forward. The next big thing is April and that's really what my focus will be on from now until then.

"I don't know what I'm going to do. You might not see me until next year, you might see me in a couple of weeks' time. It really depends.

"An injury like this, it's eight full weeks of rest before you start to rehab it and then you go again.

"I felt like we took as much time as we needed to at the start of the year. That was basically seven or eight weeks, got back and playing and it felt okay through the Masters.

"I switched it off for a couple of weeks because I was getting married, going on honeymoon. Then once I started practising again, I didn't build up the volume gradually. I went from zero to hitting balls from three or four hours a day. That aggravated it a little bit.

"I just haven't allowed it the time to fully heal. I wanted to play the season. I feel like I'm capable of playing well and winning and putting rounds together. If I want to challenge on a more consistent basis, I need to get 100 per cent healthy."

McIlroy had been seven over for the first six holes for the first three rounds but birdied the fifth on Sunday and felt a good start was the key as he added gains on the seventh, 14th and 15th with a bogey on the eighth.

"Nice to finish the week off on a positive note," he said. "I started better today. That was the real key to the round. If you can start and be under par through the first six you are not really putting yourself under pressure to birdie the seventh, to birdie the eighth, to birdie the tenth.

"If you can get off to at that good start, it's really the key to this golf course. I didn't get off to that good start for a couple of days and that's why I'm not on that putting green warming up to go out and play now."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1THOMAS, JustinUSA18-8
T2MOLINARI, FrancescoITA18-6
T2REED, PatrickUSA18-6
T2OOSTHUIZEN, LouisRSA18-6
T5FOWLER, RickieUSA18-5
T5MATSUYAMA, HidekiJPN18-5

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