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May 21, 2023

Rory McIlroy

Rochester, New York, USA

Oak Hill Country Club

Flash Quotes

THE MODERATOR: Rory McIlroy joins us at the 105th PGA Championship. We'll get right into questions.

Q. Can you just assess not only the week but your day and experience with Michael Block?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, look, I'll look back on this week as proud of how I hung in there, and I guess my attitude and sticking to it, not having my best stuff.

Probably not a ton of memorable golf shots hit. My playing partner today hit a couple memorable golf shots, though. Yeah, the atmosphere out there, playing with Michael, was unbelievable. We both got a amazing support, but you know, he got unbelievable support, understandably so, being in this position as a club pro and playing so well and, you know, competing into the latter stages of a major championship. It was really impressive.

It was nice to go out there and share the course with him for 18 holes.

Q. Could you explain the scene on 15?

RORY McILROY: I mean, it was an amazing golf shot. That hole has sort of given me fits all week. I haven't really liked the look of it, and Michael stands up and hits this lovely little draw back into off the left wind, and you know, ball goes straight in the hole. It was I guess sort of when it's your week, it's your week in a way, and you know, I think with the way the week's went for him, it was a fitting way to cap off his PGA Championship.

Q. And you've talked a little bit about how you've changed your mindset this week. I'm just wondering, what specifically did you think was different?

RORY McILROY: I guess I just came in here trying to play a golf tournament, not thinking about -- honestly, not thinking about getting myself in contention. Not thinking about winning. I honestly didn't feel like I had a chance of winning this week.

So it was just about going out there and playing the best I could and trying to make the most of it.

Q. It's the third straight major where Viktor has been in contention on Sunday. He was one back today until making double on 16. Where do you see him taking that next step as being a major contender consistently, and what do you say to him about just another close call?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I mean, he's putting himself in position, right. Jack Nicklaus won 18 majors, but he finished second 19 times. So it's all about putting yourself in position and giving yourself chances. The more chances you give yourself, the more probability one is going to fall your way.

If Viktor keeps doing the same things and working hard, I've seen him the last couple of nights, he's been the last one here working on his game. If he keeps doing that sort of stuff, one will fall into his lap.

Q. It looked like you had a lot of fun out there today, especially playing with Michael Block. Was this one of the more fun rounds you've had playing on a Sunday in a major?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, it would have been more fun if I played a little better. But in terms of atmosphere and, yeah, just the whole sort of vibe of the day, yeah, it's definitely one of the better ones that I've played in.

Q. Are you a Bills fan after meeting Josh Allen and getting all the Bills chants out there today?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, as I said at the start of the week, I think the Bills are shaping up quite nicely for the season. It's easy to root for a team when you know they are going to do pretty well.

Q. Knowing you were struggling with your game coming into this week, how do you value or assess your tournament?

RORY McILROY: I feel sort of close but also so far away at the same time. It's hard to explain.

I feel like sometimes it was the worst I could have played, but then at the same time, it's like the best I could have done. It's a weird -- I'm sort of -- it just doesn't feel quite where it needs to be, and again, just need to go back home and work on some stuff. I guess just try to figure it out.

So a week like this, there's some good parts and there's some bad parts. I just sort of trying to pick all those pieces out and obviously see what you can do better and sort of just move on from there.

Q. What do you learn from a week like this?

RORY McILROY: I guess that I don't need my best stuff to compete. I feel like I need my best stuff to win, but you know, I don't need my best stuff to compete and hang in there.

But, yeah, I need to be better.

Q. Do you think having modest expectations might be the key to being happier on the golf course?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, 100 percent. I was more accepting of things out there, and I think it's hard. Like the previous major championship at Augusta, all I think about is winning, winning, winning, to try to win that green jacket, and you know, I sort of -- I then don't really think about just playing a tournament and the cadence that goes along with getting into rounds and whatever.

I go to the second tee on Friday morning or Friday afternoon, and I see I'm already ten back of Brooks or whatever. So then I'm thinking, oh, geez, I have no chance of winning, and things sort of crumble. It's just like being a bit mentally fragile because you're so focused on the one thing you're trying to do when, in essence, you just need to play a golf tournament and see where the chips fall at the end of the week.

Q. And clearly, you went beyond your expectations, so how good does it feel to be in contention again after all the last --

RORY McILROY: Yeah, I would say a Top-10 finish, I would have been pretty happy with that at the start of the week.

But then once you're in there and you actually feel like you could have done a little better, it starts to become disappointing.

But if I think back to myself on Wednesday, say, just before the tournament started, and someone said, "You're going to finish T-7 this week," I would say, actually, that's probably not a bad week for me with how I'm feeling about everything.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for your time, Rory.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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