Spieth, McIlroy and Johnson will tee off at 19:20 UK time.

Rory McIlroy has said he is excited by the prospect of teeing off alongside Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson ahead of the start of the USPGA Championship today.

The Northern Irishman has recovered from ankle ligament damage to take his place in the field at Whistling Straits alongside Spieth, who won the Masters and US Open earlier this year.

The trio will begin at 19:20 UK time, with McIlroy relishing the opportunity to partner the winners of the last two majors.

“I knew I wasn’t going to have a low key return to the game and this definitely isn’t it,” he said.

“I was a part of it last year, being in the Major winners group and Jordan winning two of the Majors this year, obviously it gets me back into that grouping on Thursday afternoon. So it’s something I’m excited about.”

WATCH: Rory McIlroy on becoming a champion

 

McIlroy won the USPGA Championship at Valhalla last year, finishing one shot clear of Phil Mickelson.

Ahead of hitting his first competitive shot since the US Open, McIlroy said he was not surprised at the attention Spieth has received this year.

“I mean I’m not surprised at all that the narrative has went from me to Jordan and to both of us being here,” he said.

“I guess as well, it’s such, we live in such a world that everything’s so reactionary and everything happens so quickly that a year ago after I won this tournament it was the Rory era and then Jordan wins the Masters and it’s the Jordan era. And eras last about six months these days instead of 20 years.”

McIlroy also admitted that, despite his short injury absence, his expectations are the same heading into the tournament.

“I have played quite a number of rounds of golf. I’ve been practicing for over three weeks getting my game ready, getting my game sharp. I feel like I’m playing well.

“But I expect to play well. I don’t see any reason why I can’t bring the sort of form that I’ve shown in practice rounds and on the range to the tee on Thursday afternoon.”