US PGA Championship 2017: I've got nothing to prove – Rory McIlroy

2017 US PGA Championship on the BBC
Venue: Quail Hollow Dates: 10-13 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, Red Button and BBC Sport website. Listen to BBC Radio 5 live commentary and follow text updates – including in-play video clips – on website and mobile app. Click for full times.

Rory McIlroy says he has nothing to prove as he chases his first major in three years at the US PGA Championship.

The world number four is among the favourites on a Quail Hollow layout where he has two wins and the course record.

“I’m not putting that much pressure on myself. I’ve proven myself enough over the last nine years of my career,” said the Northern Irishman.

“I never lost faith. I’ve always believed in my abilities. I still do.”

It was a contrast from how four-time major winner McIlroy felt in 2015, when he fired a third-round 61 to break his own course record on the way to victory while world number one, saying he needed to show how well he could play.

“I definitely don’t want to be in the mindset this week of wanting to make any type of statement or go out and prove myself. I’m past that point,” added the 28-year-old.

“I don’t feel I need to prove anything to anyone.”

Disappointment in 2017

McIlroy has yet to win a tournament in 2017, though he has 11 top-10 finishes from 19 tournaments across the PGA and European Tours.

“Obviously I wouldn’t have won as much as I would have liked this year, and there’s been a few components to that, injury-wise, changing equipment and stuff. It has been a bit of a transitional year.

“But I feel like everything has settled. I just want to go out and play my game and hopefully that will be good enough.”

McIlroy, the 2012 and 2014 US PGA winner who also took the 2011 US Open and 2014 Open, could become only the third player to win five majors before turning 30, joining Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

It won’t hurt that he has played well in majors in wet conditions, which are expected this week, and that he has a comfort zone with Quail Hollow despite changes to toughen the opening third of the course.

“You don’t really have to have your best game and you still feel like you have a chance to win – that’s sort of how it feels here,” McIlroy said.

“I just feel good around here. I don’t know what it is. I’ve got some great memories.”

BBC Sport – Golf

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