HAVEN, Wis. -- The conversation at Rory McIlroy's pre-tournament press conference today centered -- understandably -- on the world No. 1's injured left ankle and his preparation for the mass of sidehill lies is Whistling Straits.
McIlroy said walking 72 holes in Portugal last week with no issues was the test he needed to pass to play this week, and that he was 100 percent ready defend his title.
Whether or not McIlroy's ankle holds up for four more days is an open question, but Golf Digest 50 Best Teacher Mike Adams says the slight adjustments McIlroy has made to accommodate the ruptured tendon on the outside of his left foot have actually made his swing more sound.
"Whenever Rory plays his best, he posts strongly to his left side but doesn't roll over to the outside of his left foot," says Adams, who is based at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J. "Watching him this week, you can see that he isn't modifying his swing because of the foot as much as he's playing more under control, and pivoting more 'on top' of that foot. It's actually great for his game long-term. And I think he's ready to go out there and compete and win this week."