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Why Paige Spiranac thinks Rory McIlroy has PGA Championship edge amid divorce

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Paige Spiranac is looking forward to seeing what Rory McIlroy can do at Valhalla Golf Club this week.

Ahead of Thursday’s opening round of the 2024 PGA Championship, the longtime golf influencer, 31, listed off her favorites to win the second major of the season, including the Northern Irishman, who filed for divorce from wife Erica Stoll earlier in the week after nearly seven years of marriage.

“Everyone seems to have their money on Rory McIlroy at +600 and I can see why. He seems to have his swagger back after a dominating performance last week, and when Rory has confidence and a little pep in his step, there is no one who is more fun to watch play golf than him,” Spiranac said Wednesday in a video on X.

Paige Spiranac said Rory McIlroy is one of her favorites at the 2024 PGA Championship. Paige Spiranac/Instagram
Rory McIlroy during a practice round at Valhalla Golf Club on May 15, 2024. Getty Images
The Northern Irishman was seen without his wedding ring. Getty Images

“But as we know, he filed for divorce on Monday, half of the people are saying he is free and ready to go win and play at a course he loves like Valhalla, and the other half is saying that could put a lot of stress and pressure on him. I think that Rory plays well when he has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder and he is my favorite for this week.”

McIlroy, who won the PGA Championship in 2012 and ’14, is coming off two consecutive wins at the Zurich Classic, where he was paired with Shane Lowry, and last week’s Wells Fargo Championship.

Two days after the Wells Fargo Championship victory, McIlroy stunned the golf community with the news of his divorce filing from Stoll.

In the docs, which were filed Monday in Florida, it stated their union was “irretrievably broken.”

McIlroy and Stoll, who wed in 2017, have a prenup and are seeking split custody of their 3-year-old daughter, Poppy.

Rory McIlroy filed for divorce from Erica Stoll in May 2024. REUTERS
The pair, here at the Ryder Cup in 2023, wed in 2017. Getty Images

The four-time major champion’s team confirmed Tuesday a divorce had been filed and “stressed Rory’s desire to ensure this difficult time is as respectful and amicable as possible,” according to a statement from McIlroy’s manager, Sean O’Flaherty.

McIlroy kept things business as usual Wednesday, when he hit the driving range at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville — sans his wedding ring – and did not take questions about his private life during a press conference.

Rory McIlroy at a press conference before the 2024 PGA Championship on May 15, 2024. Getty Images
Paige Spiranac also cited Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka as PGA Championship favorites. Paige Spiranac/X

“I believe you all saw the statement yesterday from Rory’s communication team specifically that he will not be making any additional comments on his private life, so thank you all for respecting his wishes,” the moderator said to open Wednesday’s media session.

When asked by a reporter, “How are your energy levels, and just on a personal level, how are you doing?”, McIlroy replied: “I’m ready to play this week.”

In addition to McIlroy, Spiranac said reigning world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, Wells Fargo runner-up Xander Schauffele and defending PGA champion Brooks Koepka are among her other favorites, per the odds.

McIlroy tees off around 8 a.m. Thursday with Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose.

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