August 9, 2020
San Francisco, California, USA
Harding Park Golf Club
JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon, and welcome back to the 2020 PGA Championship. We are joined by Rory McIlroy, who closed with a 68 today, finished 2-under par for the championship. Rory, thanks for stopping by.
First major in 13 months, so what do you pack with you, take with you and build on as a couple majors and the Playoffs coming up in the next few months?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, this has been one of the tougher tests that we've faced since coming back. The Memorial a few weeks ago was really tough, and then it's been quite challenging this week, penal rough.
Greens probably didn't get quite as firm as I expected them to over the weekend, but still, if you missed fairways you were doing well to make par.
I sort of gauged those two events as sort of the barometer where my game was, and I'm going to pretty much finish in the same spot around T-33, I think. Haven't really deviated much from par the last few weeks. I've made a lot of birdies, but I've made a lot of bogeys, and that's sort of been the story of my golf since coming back. It's been enough good stuff in there, I'm just making a few too many mistakes.
Just try to clean that up going forward and get ready for the next few events. I think most guys will probably have maybe six events left to the end of the year. That's sort of, I think, what I'll have. Three playoff events coming up and two more major championships.
Q. You played the 8th hole 2-under this week, so obviously you didn't have much issue with it --
RORY McILROY: I played it better than the par-5s.
Q. I'm just curious what your thoughts are on that as a whole.
RORY McILROY: It's a tough par-3. You know, I was fortunate to hit a couple of really good shots in there and capitalize and make the putts for birdies on Friday and Saturday, and then I missed the green the other two days but was able to get it up-and-down.
It's a good golf hole. I was surprised that a couple of the pins positions they didn't move the tee up an extra tee for the one that was tight left and the one that was tight right, but it sort of just forced you to hit it in the middle of the green and accept a 30-footer and take your chances from there. But it's a good hole.
Q. A lot was made yesterday about Brooks' comments after the round. I'm curious, what do you feel about the way he sort of comports himself and what he says around major championships?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, I certainly wouldn't say -- it's different, right; it's a very different mentality to bring to golf that I don't think a lot of golfers have.
Yeah, it's a -- when I heard -- I was watching the golf last night and heard the interview and was just sort of taken aback a little bit by sort of what he said and whether he was trying to play mind games or not -- if he's trying to play mind games, he's trying to do it to the wrong person. I don't think DJ really gives much of a concern that.
But just different. I certainly try to respect everyone out here. Everyone is a great player. If you've won a major championship, you're a hell of a player. Doesn't mean you've only won one; you've won one, and you've had to do a lot of good things to do that.
Yeah, I mean, sort of hard to knock a guy that's got 21 wins on the PGA TOUR, which is three times what Brooks has.
Q. I was just wondering, given obviously your great form before the shutdown and the slightly indifferent form afterwards, putting it into context, do you feel hardened by -- I know there's a grander scheme of things to think about --
RORY McILROY: I'm happy just to be out on the golf course. So many people that still can't get back to work. I was even saying there, even where I live in Florida, it feels like a bubble. Not much has been locked down, sort of been able to go about our daily lives with not much interruption.
I'm happy to be playing golf and grateful that we're still able to play out here. I haven't played as well as I've wanted to, but it beats being sat on the couch at home, so I'll take it.
Q. I think you were something like 12-under par for the rest of the course but 10-over on the 12th to the 14th. How bizarre is that, and what would you like to do to that stretch of three holes?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, look, it's a tough stretch of holes. I don't think I'm the only one that's going to be playing those holes in over par. Yeah, it's tough.
Each tee shot, 12, 13, 14, it's just they're awkward tee shots. If you hit it in the rough you're going to struggle to make pars, and I didn't hit it on the fairways enough with those holes to capitalize on them. Yeah, just one of those things. It was a bad stretch of holes for me this week.
But I have to be encouraged by the rest of the golf that I've played.
Q. Obviously winning majors is not easy. Do you have any idea why you find it's difficult to hang around for 54, 63 holes in recent seasons compared to say earlier in your career? Is it about getting off to those really fast starts, or is there something else you can put your finger on?
RORY McILROY: No, I don't know. Maybe I'm just not as good as I used to be. I don't know.
I really don't know. I feel like the golf that I've played in the majors has been sort of similar to the golf I've played outside of them, and I've won some big events and played well and had a good season last season.
Yeah, I can't really put my finger on it. I go out there and try my best every single day. Some days I play better than others, and just got to keep going and keep persisting and see if you can do better the next time.
JOHN DEVER: Rory, thanks for your time all week long and best of luck going forward the rest of the year, sir.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports