PGA Championship 2013: Rory McIlroy has shot at history despite rough year

Gregory Shamus

The Northern Irishman can join select company of golfers to win majors in three straight seasons.

Five golfers since 1960 have finished with major victories in three consecutive seasons. Rory McIlroy can be the sixth at the age of 24 if he pulls off a victory this week at the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. The list of players he'd join on that list includes Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson.

It won't be easy. Since winning the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, McIlroy had his fair share of struggles. He withdrew from the Honda Classic earlier in the year and missed the cut at The Open Championship in July.

Twelve months after McIlroy finished atop the golf world, he'll have one shot to salvage his 2013 tour. He got a first look at the Oak Hill course in Rochester, New York, in June. McIlroy spoke of the history of the course to The Associated Press.

"When I think of the PGA Championship, I think of courses like this. This course is timeless," McIlroy said Monday after shooting 67 on a practice round. "It's not only long, but it's hard to drive the ball well. You've got some chances out there.

"Then again, you've got a tough finish."

But it's history that will be driving McIlroy. Along with the list of rare three-peats, McIlroy would also join a list of another five players to win the PGA Championship twice in a row. Woods did it twice and he's joined by Denny Shute, Leo Diegel, Gene Sarazen and Walter Hagen.

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