Rory McIlroy throws weight behind possibility of Ireland hosting USPGA Championship
Rory McIlroy has thrown his weight behind the possibility of Ireland hosting the USPGA Championship in the future.
Last Updated: 16/11/13 4:43pm
PGA of America chiefs announced recently that they were looking into the idea of staging the season's fourth major away from US shores.
With Bethpage Black in New York having already been selected to host the tournament in 2019, the earliest such a scenario could come about is 2020.
But it has now emerged that Northern Ireland could be a real contender to be selected for the honour with PGA of America president Ted Bishop claiming that Royal Portrush could be an ideal venue.
McIlroy - who has close links to the Irish lay-out having broken the course record there as a teenager - admitted he has held informal talks with the PGA of America top brass and has given a thumbs-up to their plans.
"I didn't speak to Ted about Portrush in particular, but he's always been a fan of Ireland as a venue," the world number six told Sky Sports after his third round at the DP World Tour Championship.
"I think it's a great thing, it's something totally different and totally out of leftfield.
"If it were to happen it would be great, but I know Ted is a big fan of Ireland and I know Pete Bevacqua, who is CEO of the PGA of America, is a big fan so maybe one day it could happen."
McIlroy shot a 68 in Dubai on Saturday to finish seven strokes behind tournament Henrik Stenson, but insists he has not totally given up on the possibility of emerging triumphant.
"I finished well, I finished strongly which was important especially after making bogey on 14... hitting it into the water which was pretty disappointing," he added.
"It was another day when I gave myself plenty of chances, but I still feel like I left a couple out there.
"It's not a bad position going into tomorrow, it looks like the guys aren't getting too far ahead... but I'll need to shoot something a bit lower tomorrow to have a chance."