Rory McIlroy’s comeback takes centre stage for US PGA Championship

Concern relating to participation in golf is at odds with a recurring sense of theatre attached to the sport’s top level. Joined-up thinking might even explore opportunities to link the two.

Each of this year’s majors has offered up an eye-catching storyline. At Augusta National, Rory McIlroy’s quest to complete a clean sweep of majors dominated. The US Open and Open Championship were intrinsically linked to one man: Jordan Spieth. The build-up to the US PGA Championship, which begins on Thursday at Whistling Straits, has seen attention divert firmly towards McIlroy once again. The fact he has been partnered with Spieth for rounds one and two only adds spice to an already tantalising scenario.

Will, or won’t, the world No1 return from the ankle ligament injury sustained during a 4 July football game to defend the Wanamaker Trophy? The question lingered for weeks. Every suggestion, as posted by the Northern Irishman on social media, is that he will take his place in the field barring an unforeseen breakdown in his recovery. (He played all 18 holes of the course on Saturday with no signs of discomfort.) McIlroy’s tactic maybe belied the theory that golf exists in a world of plus-fours and carrier pigeons.