The Northern Irishman suggests that he needs to rediscover his best driving form in order to win Major titles again.
McIlroy: “Haven’t Driven The Ball Like Myself Since 2019”
The tournament favourite going into the PGA Championship, Rory McIlroy returned to Kiawah Island, the venue where he won his second career Major at the 2012 PGA Championship.
The beginning of May also saw McIlroy win his first event on the PGA Tour for the first time in 18 months at the Wells Fargo Championship.
He aimed to win his fifth Major, and third PGA Championship, at Kiawah Island after a near-seven year drought.
However, the Northern Irishman finished T49 at Kiawah Island and five over par for the weekend, meaning he hasn’t won a Major since his 2014 victory at the PGA Championship.
Speaking post-tournament, McIlroy suggested his game will considerably improve once he rediscovers his driving form.
“Probably haven’t driven the ball like myself since 2019, so I need to figure it out,” McIlroy said.
“I just need to figure out a driver, I just haven’t driven the ball as well as I know that I can for a long time, and that’s the foundation of my game.
“Once I’m driving it well, everything becomes so much easier.
“I just haven’t driven the ball like myself for a while.
When asked about whether that involved figuring out the swing or the equipment, he responded that it was a combination of the two.
“I think a little bit of both.
“It was a good test this week to see where I was, and I still have a way to go.”
At the 2021 PGA Championship, McIlroy ranked 47th in strokes gained off-the-tee, with +0.05.
When compared to previous years though, the four-time Major winner is clearly falling short.
Throughout the PGA Tour in 2019, his strokes gained off-the-tee averaged +1.25, while it dropped to +0.85 in 2020 and then +0.82 for this year.
For comparison, the year of his last Major victory in 2014 also equalled his best season off-the-tee, where he averaged +1.52 shots gained.