12 Aug 2015

McIlroy set to play PGA Championship

11:38 am on 12 August 2015

World golf number one Rory McIlroy has effectively declared himself fit for his title defence in this week's PGA Championship at Whistling Straits when he told the Golf Channel that his rehabilitated left ankle was a "non-issue".

The golf world number one Rory McIlroy.

The golf world number one Rory McIlroy. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Northern Irishman, out of action since he ruptured a ligament in his ankle while playing soccer with friends on July 4th, spoke after playing 18 holes of practice for a second day in a row at the venue in Wisconsin.

After his first practice round at Whistling Straits yesterday, where he was seen scampering up the hills on the undulating layout, McIlroy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel his ankle was "good" before he headed off to the parking lot.

"Obviously, getting around a golf course like this, playing 18 holes, it felt fine," the four-times major winner said. "I've come a long way in five weeks. This has been the five-week mark today from when I did it."

26-year-old McIlroy doesn't have to commit to the PGA Championship until his official tee time for the opening round.

He has been grouped with Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth and British Open winner Zach Johnson for the first two rounds of the PGA, the year's final major.

Should McIlroy tee off as expected on Friday morning (NZ time), it would be just 40 days since he suffered an injury that some medical experts said might take about three months to heal.

It also would be more than seven weeks since McIlroy tied for ninth in the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in his most recent competitive start and would give the PGA Championship a huge boost.

New Zealand's Danny Lee is in the field and will play alongside American Tony Finau and South African Branden Grace in the first round.