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Rory McIlroy hoping to let golf do talking as US PGA Championship gets under way

Recent history was against Rory McIlroy as he attempted to put personal turmoil to one side and secure an overdue fifth major title in the 106th US PGA Championship.

McIlroy claimed the last of his four majors to date when Valhalla staged the event in 2014, with Australia’s Jason Day succeeding the Northern Irishman as champion at Whistling Straits.

Since then however, only American players have lifted the Wanamaker Trophy, with Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas winning five times between them and Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson and Collin Morikawa also enjoying success.

McIlroy understandably refused to talk about his private life in his pre-tournament press conference, which came the day after it emerged he had filed for divorce from his wife of seven years, Erica, on Monday.

The timing could not have been worse given the world number two had won the Wells Fargo Championship for a fourth time just hours earlier, a second victory in succession following his win alongside Shane Lowry in the Zurich Classic.

Coincidentally that mirrors the form McIlroy enjoyed in 2014, when he followed his victory in the Open at Royal Liverpool with another in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational before travelling to Valhalla.

The former world number one was scheduled to get his first round under way from the 10th tee at 0815 local time (1315 BST) alongside Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose, with Tiger Woods in the preceding group with Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka was also among the early starters alongside Max Homa and Jordan Spieth, while Masters champion Scottie Scheffler had to wait until mid-afternoon to start his bid for back-to-back major titles and a fifth win in his last six starts.

Valhalla is special

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