Rory McIlroy: I'm happy to be favourite for the USPGA Championship

Wednesday, 09 Aug, 2017

The PGA Championship, which has always been identified as the season's fourth and final major, may have to find a new calling card. Spieth was a runner-up at the 2015 PGA Championship to Jason Day.

But Northern Ireland's golden boy, Rory McIlroy, is also expected to show his class during the event to prove that he has what it takes to be victorious.

McIlroy, after victories in 2012 and 2014, would join Nicklaus (5), Walter Hagen (5) and Woods (4) in the all-time list of US PGA victors.

Aug 7, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Rory McIlroy on the second green during a practice round for the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club.

Dustin Johnson hopes seeing familiar faces in the gallery will help this week as he tees it up in the PGA Championship.

The course has been lengthened for the major championship, which should not present a problem for him because his driving was exceptional at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

Despite being winless in 2017, McIlroy is coming off two top-five finishes, including a T4 at The Open Championship last month. Can you imagine if he won all four majors by the age of 24 and did it on McIlroy's turf (where he has two wins)?

Sam Brazel was the final Australian to tee up in OH and while the course is one that doesn't suit his game he played determined golf to finish T47 at 5-over for the week. "Doing what we did past year, being able to win this tournament and set yourself up for basically the rest of your career, is just a nice - it's a huge relief".

Jack Nicklaus, an 18-time major victor said it "should be a good thing for the game of golf", while 14-time major victor Tiger Woods tweeted his support, saying: " Really like and support decision by PGA and the Tour. "Means I'm playing well", McIlroy said.

But the former world number one believes everything is now in place to allow him to focus on winning another major title before his own attempt to complete a career grand slam in the Masters. "Much different than when I went into my last major". "If you do miss a shot, it gives you chances to recover".

"If I can find more success with hitting fairways, there's a good chance I'll win this week", said Day.

"What he [Spieth] does right now is certainly cementing his legacy and his historical footprint in the game, there's no doubt", the 2002 US PGA Championship victor added. I don't want to say that this tournament is going to change the short-term history of the sport, but that intimation might not be that far off given what's at stake.