His most stirring performance in years left Woods second, two shots behind victor Koepka, who shot 66 to finish with a 16-under 264 and claim his third major in the last seven.
"It's been a year where I've shown glimpses of what I can do but I just haven't done it often enough", McIlroy said.
It is the Koepka's third major title in 14 months and second this year, having successfully defended his breakthrough 2017 US Open victory at Shinnecock Hills in June.
"I think the word he used is 'trending.' His game is trending", Furyk said with a smile.
You could see it in the throngs following and fixating on him, including Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, Olympic swimming icon Michael Phelps and a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper who marveled that Woods seemed to have the status of a "demigod".
"Really what we wanted to talk about today is the top eight players".
Furyk will choose three captain's picks next month after the second FedEx Cup playoff event, with the last pick September 10 after the third playoff.
And, in many ways, it felt like old times for the 42-year-old - he of the multiple back surgeries who could barely swing a club a few years back, but has now contended on the back nine in consecutive majors, only to come up short, more agonizingly so this time than at Carnoustie three weeks ago. "We were saying yesterday as big as the Ryder Cup, probably". It is hard to rationalise everything after leading with four holes to play and you want to win from that position. "But I think overall there were lots of positives for me".
"It was nice to have that in my back pocket, been there in that same situation and came out on top". But I was pleased with how I played through the turn. Koepka and Johnson, and Thomas and Fowler played together in the Presidents Cup a year ago.
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The president said he could not make the trip due to security reasons. The Red Cross called the Sunday incident "exceptionally destructive".
When it was over, Woods had a warm hug and a huge smile for the guy he calls "Brooksy".
European golfers have three more events to play before their team is announced. Koepka was one of the eight players to have their places confirmed at the Ryder Cup on Monday. "So hopefully ... the European team gets in good form, and we give the USA a run for their money in Paris".
"Even if I make birdie there and give myself a chance on the last".
"Now, that doesn't mean to say that a guy could have had a relatively average summer, and he goes on a tear, plays well here at the PGA, goes to NY, goes to Boston and plays well". Spieth and Reed have been dynamic in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Koepka and Johnson have paired together, as have Thomas and Fowler, who could also team with Johnson. Watson and Simpson have been partners in both cups. "It was the first time Tiger has been in contention and I've been in contention at the same time, so the fans definitely let you know what he was doing".
But Tiger's putter? It brought more moans than cheers to the fans, and more frustration than joy to Woods.
"To go from not even knowing if I was going to play again, it's mind boggling", said Koepka, who missed the first four months of the season with a wrist injury, "For some reason the majors just get my attention".
"I was pretty ticked at the British Open", Woods added.