Tuesday 27 September 2016

McIlroy named alongside Spieth

Published 07/08/2015 | 22:32

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy has not officially announced if he is fit for the US PGA
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy has not officially announced if he is fit for the US PGA

Rory McIlroy will play the first two rounds of the US PGA Championship with Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson next week, if the world number one is fit enough to defend his title.

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McIlroy suffered a "total rupture" of ligaments in his left ankle during a game of football with friends on July 4, ruling him out of the Scottish Open and the defence of his Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational titles.

The 26-year-old has not officially said he will compete at Whistling Straits, but has given a number of hints this week via social media, culminating in a post on Friday which appeared to show the inside of a private plane along with various emojis depicting a US flag, a thumbs-up symbol and a golf flag.

And on Friday evening the PGA of America released the tee times for the year's final major, with McIlroy alongside Masters and US Open winner Spieth and Open champion Johnson at 1320 local time (1920 BST) on Thursday and 0805 (1405) on Friday.

McIlroy, who finished one shot outside the play-off the last time the US PGA was held at Whistling Straits in 2010, has not played competitively since the final round of the US Open on June 21.

Ryder Cup team-mate Martin Kaymer, who defeated Bubba Watson in the play-off five years ago, has been paired with Tiger Woods and 2011 winner Keegan Bradley, with majors nearly men Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson in the same group.

Johnson led by a shot with a hole to play in 2010 but after a bogey on the 18th looked to have dropped him into the play-off, he was penalised two shots for grounding his club in a fairway bunker.

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