Rory McIlroy: Open finish boost for US PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy says his encouraging finish at The Open shows he has finally found momentum in time for the US PGA Championship, the year's final major.
The world number four eased the frustration of a season of form and fitness issues by battling up the Royal Birkdale placings to joint fourth.
He ended seven behind winner Jordan Spieth, but feels his game is "in much better shape" than before The Open.
The US PGA takes place at Quail Hollow in North Carolina from 10-13 August.
"I am happy that it is coming quite quickly on the back of this," said the 28-year-old Northern Irishman.
"It's hard when you feel like you have had a chance to win a major and you are not quite there - that is disappointing.
"But, at the same time, I have to take the positives. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks."
Four-time major winner McIlroy has won the US PGA Championship on two occasions - in 2012 at Kiawah Island and two years later at Valhalla.
And the schedule in the coming weeks also seems well suited to helping the former world number one get back to his best.
The Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in Akron, Ohio, is played at a venue where he has previously won, while Quail Hollow holds even happier memories.
McIlroy won tournaments there in 2010 and 2015, holds the course record of 61 and has had four other top-10 finishes there.
The course will not be entirely familiar, with four holes having been renovated extensively for the championship and a faster-playing grass introduced on the greens.
"I am excited for the next two weeks," said McIlroy. "I haven't played at Firestone for a couple of years but the last time I played there I won and I have had some good finishes.
"I play well at Quail Hollow. I love the golf course. I know they have made a few changes but I will have some really good vibes going into that week."