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May 20, 2022

Rory McIlroy

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Southern Hills Country Club

Flash Quotes

JOHN DEVER: Welcome back to the 2022 PGA Championship here at Southern Hills. We are joined by Rory McIlroy who carded a 1-over par-71 today, 4-under for the championship. Was this a case of you being caught in neutral most of the day, or did the value of par that happens in major championships, was that the case today?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, probably a little bit of both. I didn't get off to the best of starts. That bogey on 2, and then I guess from there, it was not really giving myself enough realistic chances for birdies.

After that, I played solidly on the way in there, after the second bogey on 7 there; to play the last 11 holes in 1-under was respectable, you know, not to make another bogey.

I gave myself a few more chances on the back nine and couldn't quite capitalize on a couple of them. But those up-and-downs on 16, 17, and 18 I think were going to be really important. Just keeps me a little closer to the lead and doesn't really feel like I've got such a mountain to climb if I had have maybe dropped one or two over those last three holes.

Yeah, there's a long way to go, a lot of golf left. We're going to see a completely different golf course the next two days because of the wind direction. It's going to play completely differently. Probably none of the -- maybe a couple of guys that came up earlier or Viktor that's been here a while might have seen the golf course in a northerly wind, but for the most part everyone is going to have to adapt.

It's just going to play much differently tomorrow, and that makes it very interesting.

Q. The biggest difference statistically was in approach, when you looked at the strokes gained stats between yesterday and today. Does that track with what you experienced out there?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I would say I didn't put myself in position off the tee enough to get my approach to where it needed to be. The thing is like you miss it in the left rough on 1, I was literally a foot into the rough on 2, a foot into the rough on 3. Like they're good drives, but it's a massive difference between being on the fairway and being in this rough.

I don't think the stats tell the full story there. I think it was more me being out of position rather than -- I certainly felt like I played from the fairway a lot more yesterday, and I sort of did that a little bit more on the back nine and I gave myself chances. You know, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, putting yourself in the fairway here is very important, and I just didn't do that enough today.

Q. Did nerves do you think play any kind of factor today?

RORY MCILROY: No, I don't think so. I committed to the game plan pretty well. I felt pretty relaxed out there. I got a flier on 2, and then that sort of -- I thought -- I was in the rough on 3 and thought I would get a flier and it came out soft.

I wouldn't say it was nerves. It was maybe just -- you're not going to go out and shoot 65 every day. Maybe it was a case I wasn't maybe quite as committed or aggressive as I was yesterday.

Q. The last two days it looked like Tiger was feeling it physically. You saw it up close, closer than anyone. What was your impression of the fight to make the cut this week?

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I mean, just unbelievable making the cut at Augusta and making the cut here. I was joking with Joey yesterday and saying, he could have came back and played like Honda and Valspar, two of the flattest courses on Tour. It might have been a bit easier for him, but he comes to two of the toughest walks that we have.

But yeah, just incredibly resilient and mentally tough. Yeah, to get a front-row seat into -- he's feeling it, and he's feeling it on every swing, but to see what he did on that back nine -- he missed a few iron shots but he got it up-and-down when he needed to.

Made an incredible birdie on 16 to sort of get him inside the cut number a little bit more.

Yeah, look, he's the ultimate pro. Looking at him yesterday, I wouldn't have -- if that would have been me, I would have been considering pulling out and just going home, but Tiger is different and he's proved he's different, and yeah, it was just a monumental effort.

Q. What was it like dealing with the galleries that come with Tiger, just playing with him? And then when you walked off 16 tee, it looked like Tiger handed you something. I'm curious if you'd divulge what happened there.

RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I alluded to this yesterday, but I think because the playing corridors out here are quite wide and it feels like the galleries are quite far away from you, it actually doesn't feel too bad.

There's some other golf courses that the gallery feels much more on top of you and it can start to feel claustrophobic a little bit, but it didn't really feel like that out there.

And walking off 16, he just gave me my tee. He just picked my tee up and gave it back to me. But that was really it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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