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As preparation to end a major drought goes, things could hardly have worked out better.

Not only will Rory McIlroy arrive at Valhalla Golf Club on the back of consecutive PGA Tour wins, but he’s taking a familiar route.

And that’s why the 35-year-old believes the “stars are aligning”.

“Going into Valhalla in 2014 I had won my last two starts and going into this year I’ve won my last two starts,” McIlroy said after his win at Quail Hollow.

“Just need to try to replicate whatever I did in 2014, just try to do that all over again.”

The world No. 2 has come agonisingly close to hoisting another major crown, but that PGA Championship ten years ago remains his most recent.

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Before fending off Phil Mickelson in Louisville, McIlroy had reigned supreme at the Open Championship and the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

Fast forward a decade and McIlroy is a 26-time PGA Tour winner, thanks to titles at the Zurich Classic and Wells Fargo Championship.

But expect the McIlroy of old this week, as he admits to being in one of the most confident periods of his career.

“Yeah, when you play an eight-hole stretch in 8 under par, it feels a little like that,” he said.

“I mean, I’ve been sort of banging this drum for the last few years, but I’m a way better player now than I was back then.

“I haven’t had the major record to back that up, but I’ve had the wins, I’ve done everything else there is to do in the game since 2014.

“The only thing I need to do is get another major. You know, a win like this going into the PGA Championship next week is a good way to prep for that.

“Going to a venue next week where I’ve won, it feels like the stars are aligning a little bit. But I’ve got a lot of golf to play and a lot of great players to try to beat next week.”

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It was at the PGA Championship last year that McIlroy lit the fuse for a remarkable run where – despite only winning once – he logged ten successive top-ten finishes.

The four-time major winner has issued a warning to his PGA Championship rivals, however, claiming he now feels even better than that.

“I think there was a stretch last summer sort of like Memorial, Canada, U.S. Open, Travelers, Scottish Open, Open,” he recalled.

“But I think this actually feels a little bit better than that.”

“I need to stay in my own little world next week and not get too far ahead of myself, but if you can step on to the first tee at Valhalla on Thursday and feel as good about my game as I did today, I think I’ll have a good chance.”

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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