Rory McIlroy and his injured ankle are ready for the PGA Championship.
McIlroy has been onsite at Whistling Straits, site of the season’s final major, all weekend and has no lingering fears entering the tournament.
“To play golf, it’s 100 percent,” McIlroy said when he spoke to the media on 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 percent.”
McIlroy was forced to sit out the British Open and WGC-Bridgestone after suffering an ankle injury playing soccer. With more than month away from competitive play, rust is a natural concern, but McIlroy’s injury allowed him to chip and putt even while his left foot was in a walking boot. He said his short game remained sharp. The 26-year-old’s biggest weapon is his driver, and especially at a course that favors a long-ball hitter, McIlroy’s long game will need to be as well.
“It actually feels better when I go at it as hard as I want, because my left foot sort of spins out of the way whenever I hit the driver anyway,” McIlroy said. “So it’s more if my left foot was to stay sort of completely flat, like roll on to the left side like a lot of guys do, then it would obviously probably create a few problems. Because mine sort of spins out of the way, it takes a lot of pressure off it.”
Although he is still the world’s No. 1 ranked player, McIlroy could lose that honor if Jordan Spieth were to win the tournament. McIlroy’s odds to win currently sit at 12-1 with Spieth’s at 6-1.
“Felt like [this week] was the right time to come regardless whether it was this week, or no matter what week it was,” McIlroy said. “I was ready to go whether it was this week, whether it was some other tournament. It wasn’t like I was trying to get back for this. It just so happened that I was feeling good enough to go this week.”
McIlroy tees off Thursday afternoon at 2:20 p.m. alongside Spieth and Zach Johnson.