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PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy delighted by 'best driver I've had in years' as he looks to end major drought

Rory McIlroy declines to comment on impending divorce as he speaks to media ahead of PGA Championship, which is live on Sky Sports Golf from 1pm, Thursday; world No 2 won Wells Fargo Championship last week and is delighted how he is driving ball as he targets fifth major

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Sky Sports News' Jamie Weir breaks down Rory McIlroy's decade-long wait for a major title ahead of the PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy feels he is driving the ball as well as he has in years as he looks to end his decade-long major drought at the PGA Championship.

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The world No 2 returns to Valhalla this week, the venue for the most recent of his four major triumphs back in August 2014.

McIlroy enters the tournament following a five-stroke victory at the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday, with the Northern Irishman carding two birdies and as many eagles on his back nine in a six-under 65.

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Highlights from the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow as McIlroy stormed to victory

The 35-year-old declined to make any comment on his impending divorce, saying simply "I'm ready to play this week" when asked how he was feeling personally.

He told reporters: "It doesn't seem like that long ago that my game has felt this good.

"But I would say from a technical standpoint, some of the shots that I hit last week - some of the three-quarter shots, some of the wedge shots, some of the iron shots, combined with how good I feel with the driver at the minute - obviously gives me a lot of confidence.

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"From a driving perspective, I honestly think it's probably the best driver I've had in the last few years.

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Zane Scotland assessed McIlroy's chances of winning at Valhalla on the Sky Sports Golf Podcast

"I've really gotten comfortable with it and I think some of the technical things in my swing are just a little bit better. The good drives are still very good but the bad drives aren't as bad, so the misses aren't as wild.

"It feels good coming here and I'm just trying to keep the momentum going."

'I've figured out what my weaknesses are'

McIlroy, who finished in a tie for 22nd place at The Masters in April as his wait for the career Grand Slam went on, says playing regularly this season has helped him fine-tune his game.

He added: "I can stand all day on a driving range and hit balls and not really learn anything. To me, I learn the most about my game just by playing.

"I've played a lot this year, I've sort of figured out where my weaknesses are, what my tendencies are, how I can manage my game better.

I think this is a golf course that allows you to play with freedom because it's a big golf course. The corridors are wide, not too dissimilar to last week at Quail Hollow, so you can open your shoulders up off the tee and try to take your chances from there.
Rory McIlory on Valhalla

"After New Orleans [winning the Zurich Classic alongside Shane Lowry], I didn't pick up a club for six days. I hit balls for a couple of hours at The Grove on Sunday before going to Quail Hollow and I produced a performance like that.

"I think you need to know yourself. Sometimes it's about grinding on the range and working on technical stuff. At other times, it's just about getting on the golf course and understanding how you're playing.

"I think that the one thing about golf compared to any other sport is we don't practise on the field that we play on. It would seem counterintuitive to spend all your time on the range instead of on the golf course."

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Who could challenge world No 1 and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler at the PGA Championship? Sky Sports' Jamie Weir takes a look...

McIlroy 'concerned' about chance of unity in golf

The divide in men's golf continues to rumble on with the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund - the financial supporters of LIV Golf - yet to come to terms on a framework agreement.

Jimmy Dunne, who initially set up the deal, resigned from the PGA Tour's policy board on Monday, saying "no meaningful progress" had been made and McIlroy says he is "concerned" about the development, with the PGA Tour now in a "worse place".

McIlroy added: "I think it's a huge loss for the PGA Tour if they are trying to get this deal done with the PIF and trying to unify the game. Jimmy was basically 'the' relationship, the sort of conduit between the PGA Tour and PIF.

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McIlroy says Jimmy Dunne's resignation from the PGA Tour policy board is a 'huge loss'

"It's been really unfortunate that he has not been involved for the last few months, and I think part of the reason that everything is stalling at the minute is because of that.

"It's really, really disappointing and I think the Tour is in a worse place because of it. We'll see where it goes from here and what happens.

"I would say my confidence level on something getting done before last week was as low as it had been and then with this news of Jimmy resigning and knowing the relationship he has with the other side, and how much warmth there is from the other side, it's concerning."

    Watch the PGA Championship live on Sky Sports, with coverage of day one beginning at 1pm on Thursday on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event. You can also stream the action with NOW.

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