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Rory McIlroy Leading PGA Championship: Golf World Reacts

Rory McIlroy at The Masters on Sunday in 2022

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 10: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after chipping in for birdie from the bunker on the 18th green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

It appears all the positive momentum Rory McIlroy had in the final round of the Masters carried over to the first round of the PGA Championship. 

McIlroy is currently at the top of the leaderboard by himself, shooting 4-under par through the first eight holes. After settling for par on the first two holes, he rattled off four straight birdies. 

There's still plenty of golf left to be played at Southern Hills, but golf fans are already starting to wonder if this could be the weekend where McIlroy snaps his major drought.  

"Rory McIlroy is on fire," one fan tweeted. "It's nice seeing him play well."

"Rory McIlroy with 4 straight birdies. Look out field," another fan wrote. 

McIlroy has not won a major championship since 2014. He was knocking on the doorstep at Augusta National, but he ultimately fell short of that goal. 

During a recent appearance on BBC 5 Live Sports' All About: The Open podcast, McIlroy addressed his major drought. 

"I haven't won a Major in the last seven years but I've basically won everything else there is to win in golf,” McIlroy said. “I've won the Players Championship, I've won FedEx Cups, I've won Race to Dubai titles, World Golf Championships, I've won National Opens. I've done a lot in the last seven years.

"Yes, that hasn't included a Major championship but I've played good enough golf in those seven years to win one. I'm staying as patient as I possibly can and to just keep giving myself chances. If I do keep giving myself chances, hopefully those chances end up turning into wins."

If McIlroy wants to win the PGA Championship for the third time in his career, he'll need to keep his foot on the gas. Even then it won't be an easy task since the field is loaded with elite competitors. 

Coverage of the PGA Championship is available on ESPN+.