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HomeSportsRory McIlroy 'comfortable' with game ahead of The Players and has moved...

Rory McIlroy ‘comfortable’ with game ahead of The Players and has moved on from ‘punch drunk’ Bay Hill visit


McIlroy won The Players in 2019 but missed the cut when defending his title last year, with the 32-year-old posting top-20 finishes in every worldwide start since August; Watch the PGA Tour’s flagship event throughout the week live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Players channel.

Last Updated: 08/03/22 6:26pm


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Players Champion from 2019 Rory McIlroy says he is feeling more comfortable this year having missed the cut after shooting 79 in the last edition of the competition.

Players Champion from 2019 Rory McIlroy says he is feeling more comfortable this year having missed the cut after shooting 79 in the last edition of the competition.

Rory McIlroy insists he’s unlikely to experience a repeat of last year’s Players Championship nightmare when he challenges for a second TPC Sawgrass victory this week.

The former world No 1 struggled in a delayed defence of his 2019 Players Championship title, missing the cut in spectacular fashion after following an opening-round 79 with a three-over 75 the following day.

McIlroy admitted after his early exit last year he had been “sucked” into emulating Bryson DeChambeau’s big hitting, resulting in problems with his swing, although the 32-year-old feels his game is in much better shape after a strong start to 2022.

World number one Jon Rahm says that whoever wins this week's Players Championship 'is truly the best in the world' due to the quality of course and field.

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World number one Jon Rahm says that whoever wins this week’s Players Championship ‘is truly the best in the world’ due to the quality of course and field.

World number one Jon Rahm says that whoever wins this week’s Players Championship ‘is truly the best in the world’ due to the quality of course and field.

“I didn’t know it was 79 last year – I tried to forget about it, but thanks for reminding me,” McIlroy joked in his pre-tournament press conference. “I came in here last year not very confident in my golf game.

“I didn’t feel like I was playing well. I sort of had a two-way miss going. I’m a lot more comfortable with my game coming in this year.

The Players Championship Live

March 9, 2022, 2:00pm

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“I don’t want to tempt fate, but there would have to be a drastic change in my game from now until Thursday for me to go and shoot 79 in the first round, but it is golf and you never know.”

McIlroy was left to rue a frustrating finish to the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, where held a two-shot lead after the opening day before stuttering to back-to-back 76s over the weekend.

Rory McIlroy snapped a wedge in two at the Arnold Palmer Invitational following an overhit chip on the 12th at Bay Hill.

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Rory McIlroy snapped a wedge in two at the Arnold Palmer Invitational following an overhit chip on the 12th at Bay Hill.

Rory McIlroy snapped a wedge in two at the Arnold Palmer Invitational following an overhit chip on the 12th at Bay Hill.

The four-time major champion said on Sunday he would just need a day to get over his unhappy experience at Bay Hill, where he labelled conditions as “like crazy golf”, with McIlroy since revealing he was far from alone in feeling “punch drunk” from the experience.

“There was a lot of alcoholic beverages being drunk in the locker room when I went in there on Sunday afternoon by a lot of players, so it wasn’t just me out there having a rough time,” he added.

The best of the action from a dramatic fourth round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as Scottie Scheffler claimed victory at Bay Hill.

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The best of the action from a dramatic fourth round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as Scottie Scheffler claimed victory at Bay Hill.

The best of the action from a dramatic fourth round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as Scottie Scheffler claimed victory at Bay Hill.

“Yesterday (Monday) was just more of like an off day, a travel day. Made our way up from Orlando. Got a quick workout in here and just got organised. I didn’t touch the clubs. I just sort of left them alone for a day.

“I think sometimes those Mondays between tournaments can be important to just sort of flip the switch a little bit and recharge, and then you wake up on Tuesday morning and feel a bit better about everything and you get after it again.”

The Players Championship Live

March 10, 2022, 11:30am

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‘PGA Tour can improve transparency’

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan insisted in his pre-tournament press conference that Phil Mickelson had the ‘ball in his court’ about returning to golf, although refused to rule out whether he had actually been suspended by the Tour.

McIlroy admitted to being ‘over’ the whole Mickelson debacle, focused around his comments surrounding the proposed Saudi-backed Golf League, with the Northern Irishman believing the PGA Tour could be clearer on their stance in some situations.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan reiterates that the PGA Tour is about legacy and not leverage after the fall out surrounding Phil Mickelson and the Saudi Golf League.

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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan reiterates that the PGA Tour is about legacy and not leverage after the fall out surrounding Phil Mickelson and the Saudi Golf League.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan reiterates that the PGA Tour is about legacy and not leverage after the fall out surrounding Phil Mickelson and the Saudi Golf League.

“I think the one thing that the Tour in general could do a better job at is transparency, whether that be with – yeah, just with everything,” McIlroy added. “I think transparency and maybe it not being as closed a shop.

“I’ve always felt that a few of the bans or suspensions, I think that should all be announced. I think that should be more transparent. I’ve always said that. But that’s something I’m sure they’re working on and have constant dialogue in.

“I’d say overall that Jay [Monahan] has done a wonderful job in terms of weathering the storm of the pandemic, putting more money in guys’ pockets, making this Tour the best Tour in the world to play on. You’re only sort of picking holes if you’re really trying to have any negatives, but overall him and his team have done a great job.”

Watch The Players throughout the week live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Players Championship channel. Live coverage of the opening round begins on Thursday from 11.30am on Sky Sports The Players.





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