I haven't played well enough when it has counted, admits Rory McIlroy

I haven't played well enough when it has counted, admits Rory McIlroy

That noise? It's softened considerably during the a year ago, and the spotlight that accompanied him to Quail Hallow shines a little less brightly on Spieth in St. Louis.

Smith was joined Wednesday by an honor roll of St. Louis sports royalty, including his longtime manager Whitey Herzog; Cardinals broadcaster Mike Shannon; Blues standouts Keith Tkachuk, Al MacInnnis and Bernie Federko; and three-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

The American will return to the Bellerive course for the first time since he was practicising in the Missouri city before the 2001 WGC-AMEX Championship on September 11, when he heard of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. "I've kept giving myself chances this year".

Second-ranked Thomas tees off in Thursday's opening round at Bellerive Country Club alongside 14-time major victor Tiger Woods and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy.

Preparing for the major in May, fighting against the elements and remnants of wintry conditions, could be a concern and put additional stress on the superintendents and crews of the courses up north that are slated to host the PGA Championship in the future - and there are many.

It's been like that all year. For almost a half century, the hole played the highest to par in U.S. Open history.

His health has held up nicely, especially coming off his fourth back surgery.

"Blessed. Very blessed. As I was saying earlier, I didn't really know if I was going to be here or not at this level and very blessed to be here". "I got by just fine". It's just what are my limitations going to be. "I didn't really play well at the U.S. Open". There are a lot of very good choices for the alternate as well, but I think I'm going to go with Patrick Cantlay over the likes of Charley Hoffman, Zach Johnson and Xander Schauffele.

Fleetwood is among the favourites to win the PGA Championship this week, a reflection of the way he has performed since missing the cut at The Players Championship.

As he remembers that day and the decision to cancel the event, Woods says Finchem made the right call. Although Woods rarely discusses what he goes through to get ready, you can bet there is a lengthy regiment he endures before he comes close to stepping onto a driving range. He's learning to compete again.

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The 2016 Masters is the flipside for Spieth - he let slip a five-shot lead on the back nine during a collapse that echoed far beyond the reach of Augusta National. He's building up all that.

The PGA Championship could do itself - and the game - a lot of good by adopting an global schedule. And not since Woods in 2006-07 has anyone won the PGA in consecutive years. "I played in a lot of final groups and I haven't played well enough when it has counted".

European captain Thomas Bjorn has been encouraged by some strong play from his players the past few months.

"It's the last opportunity to win one", Justin Rose said.

"In golf, you just have to be an eternal optimist", McIlroy said. There are also four captain's picks up for grabs. "If you don't, you'll see the field get separated pretty quickly".

Woods no longer has that luxury.

McIlroy is a two-time victor of the PGA Championship, the last one in 2014 at Valhalla.

I don't think there is a long golf course in today's world. This tournament often favours the bigger drivers and few are better equipped in that department than the 29-year-old Northern Irishman.

McIlroy added: "And the feelings that I have now, it's just hard for me to get into those positions, and if I do get into those positions, it will make me a better wedge player".

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