Two-time PGA Champion Rory McIlroy comes into Farmingdale looking for another notch in the belt. It’s been five years since the Irish golfer won the PGA, but early on he’s is considered one of the favorites at Bethpage Black.
“I’ve had a pretty good record in May,” McIlroy said. “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 sort of got a little hot in August in like Southern Hills and those sort of places.
“Saying that, obviously we’ve got to deal with a little bit of chilliness up here, but at the same time, I think it just — it gives the PGA of America more of a variety of courses to go to, which I think is a good thing.”
McIlroy has played Bethpage Black a handful of times, and has had mixed results. Back in 2009, he tied for 10th at the US Open and the finished tied for 19th and tied for 34th the two time he played here at the Barclays.
So it’s not necessarily his course, but the 30 year-old said he likes playing here.
“I think it’s fair,” he said. “I think you get rewarded for good shots. The greens aren’t too slopey. You get rewarded for good shots, and you get punished for bad ones. I feel sometimes at major championships courses are brought to the edge, and sometimes good shots are punished. Whether that’s fair or not is up for debate, but I think it’s a very fair golf course. I think the setup is very fair. I think Kerry Haigh is the best in the business at setting golf courses up. I’ve said that for a long time.
“And yeah, look, we all know what New York and Long Island is like. A Ryder Cup here is five years away, but I think they’re planning on letting 60,000 in a day here this week, so it’ll be pretty loud.”
Speaking of 2024, having the Ryder Cup at the Black may be a different experience for McIlroy, because this week, expect him to be a fan favorite, but five years from now he will be playing as the enemy, which is going to be very interesting.
But that’s five years from now and McIlroy is looking to add to his championships. The good news is outside of the Masters, McIlroy hasn’t finished lower than 10th this year and as mentioned is having a very good May.
“I think I have a good chance,” he said. “I’ve had a pretty good record at the PGA, a couple of wins and a couple other decent finishes.
“You know, we’re playing at a golf course that I like, that I’ve had some experience on. I know if I play the way I can, hopefully I’ll have a chance.”