• The Players Championship

McIlroy aiming to end Sawgrass hoodoo

ESPN staff
May 9, 2013
Rory McIlroy has not made the cut in three appearances at the Players Championship © Getty Images

Rory McIlroy believes that his game is returning to its best ahead of his first round at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday.

World No. 2 McIlroy has suffered stuttering form at the start of the 2013 PGA Tour season, his highest finish as runner-up to Martin Laird at the Valero Texas Open in April.

However the Northern Irishman is adamant that, following a change of equipment, his game is finally starting to come together. Despite finishing tied-25th at The Masters last month, McIlroy stated he is beginning to regain confidence in the hope of getting back to his best.

"I felt good going into The Masters," he said. "I really did, coming off the back of playing so well in [the Valero Texas Open at] San Antonio.

"I feel like my game is really there. It's back to where it should be, which is hitting quite a lot of fairways and hitting it quite long but hitting a lot of greens.

"I'm usually up into the 70-80% range when it comes to greens in regulation, and that's something that I've started to do which is a good sign."

The 24-year-old has suffered disappointment in his three previous Players Championship appearances, failing to make the cut on each occasion.

"The first year I came here I was in Vegas the week before," McIlroy said. "That didn't help. The second year was my 21st birthday. That didn't help. And last year I don't have an excuse. I just didn't play well."

However, despite describing the Ponte Vedra Beach course as "tricky", McIlroy believes the tournament can be won by any of the field. "It's just one of these courses where the best player who plays well that week will win," he said. "It doesn't suit any type of game style. You've got to go out there and play the shots."

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