After admitting an injury has nagged him for weeks and he was uncertain about his future, McIlroy made it clear he will spend the next week sorting out his plans for the remainder of the year.
McIlroy owns four major titles and has 20 combined PGA and European Tour wins. If I finish bogey-bogey-bogey I would probably be standing here going; I didn't need that break. I had never seen a hole location short of a false front before.
The Co Down golfer spoke to reporters after his final round of the PGA championship, where he finished with a three-under-par round of 68 to end on one over for the tournament. Thomas has four birdies in his third round as he seeks to win his first major championship as well.
"Right now, I can feel my left rhomboid going into spasm", said McIlroy after his fourth round. "That's the next big thing on my radar".
At the very least, Rory McIlroy can console himself with the realisation that when he goes for the career grand slam at the Masters next April, nobody else of his generation will have beaten him to it.
I went from zero to hitting balls from three or four hours a day. "As I said, the next big thing is April, and that's really what my focus will be on from now until then".
"It was only an eight iron and I was licking my chops, thinking, give me another birdie!", Lowry said of the 17th after ending the day tied for 23rd on one-over. So I don't know what to do. But I believe we can play anywhere and can win anywhere. I feel like I'm capable of playing well and winning and putting rounds together.
McIlroy revealed that he has felt spasms in a muscle in his upper back the last few weeks, and he's not sure when he will play next. "It really depends", said the 28-year-old, who was out for seven weeks when he first sustained the injury, which he aggravated at The Players Championship in May and spent another month on the sidelines. So I just need to hit some more fairways tomorrow.
McIlroy said the pain is not almost as severe as in May at the Players Championship when it flared. His concern is that he doesn't think he can contend on a regular basis unless he gets 100 percent healthy, and that's not where he is now.
"He said, 'No, let's birdie the last three.' So I was able to do the first part". "I can play 18 holes".
"I feel a lot better about myself being two-over for the tournament instead of four-over", McIlroy said after making five footers at the seventh and eighth. If I was injury-free, that wouldn't happen.