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McIlroy favourite at US PGA Championship, says Beem

Rory McIlroy is the man to beat at the US PGA Championship this week, according to 2002 champion Rich Beem.

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Rory McIlroy at Quail Hollow

Rich Beem believes Rory McIlroy's game makes him favourite for this week's US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow - a course he has enjoyed success at before.

McIlroy arrived in Charlotte with his form on the upturn after following up his top-10 finish at The Open with a tie for fifth at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

He will be further buoyed by his previous performances at Quail Hollow - which includes two victories in the Wells Fargo Championship in 2010 and 2015.

Both of those wins were by at least four strokes, while he was only denied the title in 2012 by Rickie Fowler in a play-off.

And that is enough to convince Beem the Northern Irishman - who has two US PGA Championships to his name - is the man to beat at the final major of 2017.

"If he [McIlroy] is not super-excited by teeing off on Thursday then shame on him," Beem told Omnisport.

"Give me his game right now, I'd be going down to the bookies to put plenty of money on myself!

"He likes this golf course, there's something about it that fits his eye, I think there's a lot of tee shots he can work from right to left and take advantage of that length.

"There's going to be a lot of holes out there that he's just going to pick apart from the tee.

"He's got such an advantage over some players. When you've won here twice in the fashion that he has, the birdies that he's made, the numbers that he's posted here, he's got to be the favourite."

Beem expects Jordan Spieth to challenge McIlroy for the title, while the likes of Fowler, Jon Rahm and Hideki Matsuyama should not be discounted.

He added: "There's an abundance of guys [in contention] and it wouldn't shock me to see any one of them [winning].

"The beauty of this game right now is that it's hard to pick a winner but I think this week is going to favour someone who is going to lead the field in performance off the tee."

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