After days of Instagram posts and emoji-filled tweets hinting at his return to action, McIlroy is already on-site at Whistling Straits, the course that next week will host the PGA Championship for the third time.
McIlroy appears ready to make his first competitive start since suffering an ankle injury on July 4. The injury forced the world No. 1 to miss title defenses at both the Open Championship and this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but McIlroy will defend his title in the season’s final major in search of his third PGA title since 2012.
McIlroy is included among one of the PGA of America’s featured groups and will begin the first round at 2:20 p.m. Thursday alongside Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson, the two men currently in possession of the other three major trophies.
McIlroy arrived at Whistling Straits Saturday morning, and after hitting balls on the range he began his first practice round in Kohler, Wisc., around 10 a.m. ET.
Golf Channel's Todd Lewis followed McIlroy during his practice round and spoke with the four-time major champion afterwards.
Speaking with @McIlroyRory after his 18 hole practice round at Whistling Straits he said he has not changed swing to protect left ankle.— Todd Lewis (@ToddLewisGC) August 8, 2015
Spoke with @McIlroyRory after his practice round at Whistling Straits who said counting today he's played 90 holes of golf since injury.— Todd Lewis (@ToddLewisGC) August 8, 2015