|Location: Kiawah Island, Ocean Course Dated: May 20-23|
|Blanket: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website from first tee to final putt. Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from 9:00 p.m. CEST|
Rory McIlroy says his victory at the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in 2012 will not give him an advantage when he returns to the course this week.
The Northern Irishman won the second of his four majors by eight strokes, but hasn’t added to his tally since 2014.
However, McIlroy arrives as the favorite after ending 19-month winless streak at Quail Hollow two weeks ago.
“It’s a really tough test, especially when the wind is blowing like that,” said the 32-year-old.
“These last holes are brutal.
“I played really well here last time around and won my first PGA and my second major, but just because I did it doesn’t mean I’m going to find it easier this week than anyone.
“I maybe have better memories and better vibes here than most of the other guys, and that’s obviously good, but I’m not sure that will allow me to play better.”
McIlroy says he walked the Ocean Course on the US East Coast with a “good feeling” nine years ago, although he admitted he wasn’t playing particularly well in the US. preparation.
“I got off to a good start. I took advantage of the favorable conditions on the first day and probably the best round of the week for me was Friday,” he added.
“I think the average score that day was 78. I shot 75, which I was delighted with, and then obviously played really well this weekend.
“But that’s nine years ago. It seems longer. It seems like a lot of time has passed, and I feel like I’m a different person and a different player.
“It’s a different time of year (the PGA was in August 2012). It’ll probably be a different wind than we played last time around, so it’s going to play like a completely different golf course. “
A lot has changed for the world number seven since that victory in South Carolina, including getting married and becoming a father.
“I’m in a completely different place in my life, everything has really changed, I feel like a completely different person,” he said.
“A lot has changed for the better. I’m standing here probably more confident in myself, happier with where I am in my life, enjoying everything a little more.
A short term change has been the return of fans to tournaments and up to 10,000 a day will be on hand at Kiawah.
“Yeah, I still love ‘Mashed Potato’ guys,” Mcllroy laughed. “I don’t even care about stupid comments. I’m just glad everyone is back here.
“Since I was 16, thousands of people have watched me play golf pretty much every time I play golf. Playing in that environment for 14, 15 years, and then sort of the opposite, it’s just different.
“It was like playing practice rounds. It’s easy to lose focus. You want to play in front of people and you want to feel that atmosphere. I feel like it’s all part of tournament golf and games. competitive sports at the highest level, and I’m glad it’s starting to come back. “