Two-time PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy will come into this year at Southern Hills off a career-best round at Augusta National and with plenty of major mojo.

The four-time major winner shot a Sunday 64 at the Masters, tying for the lowest final-round in the history of the event at Augusta National. The 8-under effort was punctuated by a nifty bunker shot on the 72nd hole that found the bottom of the cup (a feat matched by 2020 PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa, who was playing with McIlroy that day) and a runner-up result.

The Masters - Final Round
Rory McIlroy reacts after chipping in for birdie from the bunker on the 18th green during the final round of the 2022 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.
Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

“I just sort of thought to myself, ‘You know, what the hell, let's just give it a go here’ and I started off really well with a birdie on 1 and then just tried to keep the foot down,” said McIlroy after the Masters had concluded. “And I played a really, really good round of golf.”

McIlroy said last week that his Sunday at Augusta National gave him the comfort in knowing his game was where it needed to be.

“I think that’s always there, that’s always been there, but I got a lot of confidence from that round on Sunday,” said McIlroy. “I did a lot of great things. It’s something to definitely build on over the next few weeks.”

Included in those next few weeks is, of course, the 2022 PGA Championship. McIlroy, who won the 2012 (Kiawah Island) and 2014 (Valhalla Golf Club) PGA Championship.

96th PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy poses with the Wanamaker Trophy after his win during the Final Round of the 96th PGA Championship, at Valhalla Golf Club, 2014.
Credit: Montana Pritchard/PGA of America/PGA

So far the 33-year-old has missed just one cut this season and notched a victory in the fall at THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT. If McIlroy were to win this year’s PGA Championship he would join Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead as the only three-time winners of the Wanamaker Trophy.

Last year at Kiawah, McIlroy was asked about how much things have changed in his life since his previous PGA Championship victory at the Ocean Course and he said everything had changed for the better.

“I feel like a completely different person,” McIlroy said at the time. “A lot has changed. I think a lot has changed for the better. I’m standing up here probably more confident in myself, happier with where I am in my life, and yeah, just sort of enjoying everything. Enjoying life. Enjoying everything a bit more.”

He said last year winning the PGA Championship in 2012 was such a professional highlight as he was able to “get the monkey off his back” and win a second major.

Rory McIlroy holds the trophy after winning the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island
Rory McIlroy holds the Wanamaker trophy after winning the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.
Credit: David Cannon/Getty Images

“A lot of guys have won one major, but it’s a big hurdle to get to the second,” said McIlroy. “It was a big deal. I definitely didn’t want to be stuck on one for a long time, so, happy to get that second.”

McIlroy would go on to finish tied for 49th last year, and his last top-10 finish at the PGA Championship came in 2019. However, McIlroy had a blazing start to his PGA Championship career going T3-T64-1-T8-1 in his first five appearances.

A win at Southern Hills would earn McIlroy his fifth major title, and after his career-best finale at the first major of the year, he’s looking to keep that momentum going at the PGA Championship.

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