SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- Rory McIlroy has been known to call a spade a spade, and he did on Wednesday ahead of the year's final major, suggesting that he would have liked to see Jordan Spieth come into the PGA Championship with the first-ever chance at the single-season Grand Slam.
"I think it would have been great for the game of golf if Jordan had prevailed but I think Zach (Johnson) was a very worthy winner," McIlroy said.
While still recuperating from an ankle injury suffered July 4 while playing soccer, McIlroy laid up to watch the back nine but missed the playoff where Johnson won his second-career major over Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen.
The current world No. 1 was impressed with how the 22-year-old handled the spotlight and the talk of a potential Slam.
"That's something to really, for him to be proud of, especially how he handled everything at St. Andrews going into all the Grand Slam talk and everything. He handled it so well," McIlroy said. "I think even though I'm not that much older I think if I was (in that situation) I probably wouldn't have handled it quite as well as he did."
McIlroy was also asked to assess who is the best golfer in the world right now, and he gave a thoughtful response.
"I mean if you were to go by this year, you would have to say Jordan," he said. "I would say if you go over the last two years, I would say it's probably a toss up between Jordan and myself. That's a hard one."
Pressed on his true opinion, McIlroy, who is playing the first two rounds of the PGA with Spieth and Johnson, said, "I'll tell you at the end of the week."