Highlights Tours

PGA Championship 2022: Rory McIlroy about his fantastic opening roud

Rory McIlroy on his great start at the 2022 PGA Championship and his good form.

JOHN DEVER: Welcome back to the 2022 PGA Championship here at Southern Hills Country Club. Joined by Rory McIlroy, who fashioned a 5-under par 65 today. Rory, that’s the quick start you’ve been looking for, yes or no?

RORY MCILROY: Yes or no? No, no, I’d rather shoot 74 and try to make the cut tomorrow. (Laughter.)

Yeah, look, it was a great start to the tournament. I’ve been playing well coming in here. I’ve been carrying some good form. Obviously that took a lot from that last round at Augusta, played well up in D.C. at the Wells Fargo there, and played good in the practice rounds earlier this week.

I think when your game is feeling like that, it’s just a matter of going out there and really sticking to your game plan, executing as well as you possibly can, and just sort of staying in your own little world. I did that really well today. It was nice to get off to that good start and sorta keep it going.

I feel like this course, it lets you be pretty aggressive off the tee if you want to be, so I hit quite a lot of drivers out there and took advantage of my length and finished that off with some nice iron play and some nice putting.

Q. What were you happiest with, and if there was disappointment, what were you most disappointed with?

RORY MCILROY: I think just happy with when you get off to a good start like that, sometimes you can maybe start to be a little careful or start to give yourself a little more margin for error, but I stuck to my game plan.

I stayed aggressive, hit that driver up 4, took an aggressive line on 5. Yeah, I stuck to what I was trying to do out there, which I was pleased with.

Then if anything obviously the two bogeys on the par-3s on the front nine, but it’s very easy to make bogeys out here. You get yourself just a little bit out of position, you catch a little bit of grain around the green, it’s tricky.

I didn’t encounter too many of those tricky scenarios today, but it can certainly be tricky. You get yourself out of position here, you just try to make a 4 or a par and run to the next.

Q. I was going to ask you about that line on 5 you took. Why did you decide to aim at that tree and hit a cut instead of working a draw or something? What’s the thinking?

RORY MCILROY: I snap hooked one on to the driving range yesterday, so at least I knew I wasn’t going to do that. That was basically it. And the wind was off the left. If anything I’m a little more comfortable hitting the driver left to right at the minute. I feel like my body works a little better, I can be more aggressive with my body; body doesn’t stop and arms go.

Some of those right-to-left winds today off the tee it was nice because I could just aim the driver up the middle of the fairway, hit like a nice hold against the wind.

But yeah, that was the reason. It wasn’t all to do with the shot yesterday, but just fits my eye a little better.

Q. You’ve talked about how it can be challenging playing with Tiger Woods or in these super groups. Is there an opposite to that where once you’re playing well you get more in the zone, or what’s the effect out there?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I think the nice thing around — like for example, it’s different playing with him here than it is say at East Lake, because East Lake feels so claustrophobic, the crowds are so much more on top of you.

Here it’s big wide corridors. I feel like there’s a lot of room, so it doesn’t feel as oppressive as some other venues. It’s sort of nice that — I was looking forward to the draw anyway. It’s always a cool group to be a part of.

But I think this golf course just with how it’s been opened up, it doesn’t feel quite as boisterous as it usually does.