Rory McIlroy
McIlroy is hoping the USPGA championship can inspire a return to form.

Defending US PGA champion Rory McIlroy is hoping his previous success in the fourth major of the year can inspire a return to form after a dismal 2013.

McIlroy has achieved just three top-10 finishes after finishing last year as the world No.1 and with a second major to name, won in record fashion at Kiawah Island.

The Northern Irishman made something of a return to form in finishing tied for 27<sup>th at the Bridgestone Invitational last week and the 24 year old is hoping to further improve in an event where he has always excelled.

"I feel good," McIlroy told BBC Sport. "I really like the golf course here; I think they've set it up really, really well. If you hit it off line you've still got a chance to getting to the green and chance to hit it close to the pin.

"I'm looking forward to it, it's not brutally tough like the US Open is but it is tough enough that it really tests you.

"The love the way the PGA sets the golf courses up," the two-time major winner added. "I finished one shot out of the play-off at Whistling Straits (in 2010), finishing third as Heseltine (in 2009) and obviously won last year so I have had good results here and this is the major I feel I can excel in.

"I'm comfortable and I'm getting more and more comfortable with my golf game."

Following changes to his clubs after agreeing a multi-million pound sponsorship deal with Nike, McIlroy began 2013 in turmoil, crashing out early of the Accenture Match Play Championship before withdrawing from the Honda Classic mid-way through his second round.

Improvement came in the form of four successive finishes in the top 25 including at the Augusta Masters.

However a missed cut at the Open Championship last month has raised questions again over McIlroy's form but Ryder Cup team-mate Ian Poulter expects him to return to his best.

"Give him a break," Poulter said.

"I think sometimes we forget how young he is and what he's been able to achieve at a very early age.

"The second he feels comfortable again, whether that's with his swing or equipment, Rory will be winning tournaments. That natural swing of his just doesn't disappear overnight."