Course expert McIlroy gets 'that feeling' at Quail Hollow

Ahead of the US PGA Championship, Rory McIlroy said Quail Hollow was one of the few courses that gave him "that feeling".

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy   -  Getty Images

Rory McIlroy struggles to explain his love for Quail Hollow, but feels he can be below his best and still win at the US PGA Championship host course.

The Northern Irishman has won twice at the venue, to go with four other top-10 finishes in seven starts at the Charlotte course.

That record sees the 28-year-old favoured to win a fifth major, despite a redesign of the course, and McIlroy said happy memories would play a part beginning Thursday.

"There are certain golf courses that you can see yourself shoot a score on," McIlroy told a news conference on Tuesday.

"Even last week at Akron [at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational], I felt like I played okay. I drove the ball well. But I feel like a top five was sort of nearly the worst I could have done.

"There are some golf courses you go to that just give you that feeling. It gives you that [feeling that] you don't really have to have your best game and you still feel like you have a chance to win, and that's sort of how it feels here.

"Obviously there have been a few changes and there's a couple of holes that look a little different. But for the most part, 15 of the 18 holes are pretty much the same. I just feel good around here. I don't know what it is.

"I've shot a couple of really low scores. I've got some great memories. I think once you go back to a place where you do have great memories, all that starts to come flooding back to you and it makes you feel good about yourself. That's sort of how I feel around here."

McIlroy broke the course record at Quail Hollow during the 2015 Wells Fargo Championship, shooting an 11-under 61.

Although he is winless this year, the world number four said he had nothing to prove heading into the year's final major.

"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," McIlroy said.

"I've proven myself enough over the last nine years of my career.

"Obviously I [haven't] won as much as I would have liked this year, and there have been a few components to that, injury-wise, changing equipment and stuff. It has been a bit of a transitional year."

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