May 15, 2019: Rory McIlroy feels that the famous length and difficulty of Bethpage’s Black Course could play into his hands this week as the Northern Irishman targets a fifth Major Championship at the US PGA Championship.
The 30 year old has been on superb form in 2019, with a win in the Players Championship on the US PGA Tour supplemented by a runner-up finish at the WGC-Mexico Championship and six further top tens in the States.
“I’ve had a pretty good record in May. I’ve won a few tournaments, and I was a pretty big fan of this date change, moving this tournament back to May. I feel like going forward it’ll definitely lend itself to going to some new venues. It got a little hot in August in places like Southern Hills.
I think with the rain we’ve had the last couple of days, the length will definitely help. I’m just looking at the scorecard here, I actually wasn’t sure whether we were playing it as a par 70 or 71, so par-70, the seventh hole can obviously go from a par five to a par four”.
Having claimed a top ten when the U.S. Open was played at Bethpage back in 2009, the two-time US PGA Championship winner will be on confident mood when the event – taking place in May for the first time since 1949 – gets underway at the beastly 7,459-yard par 70 course on Thursday.
Francesco Molinari is also feeling fresh having played just once since missing out on a second Major title at the Masters Tournament last month, while Shane Lowry – the only Rolex Series winner of the 2019 campaign following January’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship victory – is hoping to impress having claimed his best result in golf’s big four in 2018 at this event.