Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Rory McIlroy puts his driver away for The Players Championship at Sawgrass

Justin Thomas Jordan Spieth
Betsy Taylor | 10 May, 2018, 14:29

"I didn't like it that much to I like it a lot", McIlroy said of his new fondness of TPC Sawgrass.

"We have got this event here, I've never won this and I would love to put this on my CV". It ranges from Greg Norman to Lee Janzen, from Tiger Woods to Craig Perks, from Henrik Stenson to Tim Clark. Johnson is 16th in Putts Per Round (28.20) this season, and that will pay big dividends on the tricky putting surfaces in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. May.

Rory McIlroy is one of those players. "I think it is about time to step up and give myself a chance of victory". Like most players in THE PLAYERS Championship field, the three-time PGA TOUR victor will use a coin to mark his ball this week.

"I don't want to lose it", Johnson said.

"On most courses I don't have to do that, I can play to my strengths, but here I have to do it differently".

"I'm definitely looking forward to this week". Much of that has to do with the water, just not any found on the golf course.

"This is a tournament I struggled with starting out", he said.

Just six golfers have won the PLAYERS multiple times. He tied for fourth. "Played pretty well past year except for 18 and it'll be nice to get back out there and exact some revenge".


Jason Day reasserted his credentials with a nerveless effort on the final stretch of the Wells Fargo Championship, collecting his second title this year. But since then the Northern Irishman has finished eighth, sixth, eighth and 12th before a tie for 35th a year ago. Even more remarkable for the No. 1 player in the world is that he has shot in the 60s just three times in 30 rounds.

The coin commemorates THE PLAYERS Championship and features the iconic island 17th green on the side. Reed still has notable players in his group - Jon Rahm and Hideki Matsuyama - but maybe not the most attention. He has finished out of the top 20 in just over half his appearances, some of those when he was the most dominant player in golf. Yes, that's the same Michael Campbell that won a U.S. Open. "That's a golf course you can't fake it around there". He's so close to Johnson now that he can miss the cut and still get to No 1.

The purse has been raised to $11 million, with the victor getting just under $2 million for a week's work. The South Korean shot 10-under 278 a year ago to win by three.

That's saying a lot for Spieth considering he has had a chance on Sunday to win at the Masters all five years he has played.

First, they have to figure out Sawgrass.

"I learned to play the golf course a little bit better and reined myself in on some tee shots, and that's what's brought me a little bit of success here". Another has Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.

The forecast is for warm temperatures, which should translate into a firm, fast course. "I think I've got some demons to exorcise", said a candid Lahiri. "It's the hardest par 72 we'll play".

"So, it gives you motivation".

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