It’s Time for Rory McIlroy to Have a Statement Start

Rory McIlroy’s last win came at the WGC HSBC – Champions. That was in November of 2019. 493 days ago, to be exact. Since then, he has 5 Top 5 finishes & 9 Top 10s. Now, for the first time since 2018, he has found himself outside of the Top 10 in the OWGR.

To be fair, that was just days before the Arnold Palmer Invitational – he went on to win after a Sunday 64.

It has come time again for Rory McIlroy to have a statement start. His last one came at the PLAYERS in 2019, where his victory broke a 12 month winless drought. He’s back at that same course, but can he do it again?

There has never been a golfer to win back-to-back PLAYERS. I’m not saying he has to win this weekend, but he needs to make a serious run. Last week in Orlando, Rory finished inside the Top 10, but never had a chance to win. He held the 18 hole lead, and was only 1 back headed to moving day, but then nothing. An even par Saturday and 4-over Sunday felt all too common. Starting well, doing little over the last few days, but still managing to capture Top 10s and 20s. That has to stop this weekend.

A quality start for Rory at the PLAYERS would look a little something like this. Within reach come the weekend, keep stride on moving day, and be part of the conversation down the stretch late Sunday afternoon. He admitted he needs a spark after the final round of the API – no better place than the best field in golf.

He’s looking more comfortable over the putter. Recently, he’s moved to a Justin Thomas-esque routine, using the line of the golf ball and hovering the putter over the ball to confirm the line. That was an interesting change, as Rory has always been a set-up and shoot type putter. But I like the change.

His driver will always be a strength, as he again ranks inside the Top 5 on TOUR this season in SG: Off the Tee. The iron play, however, changes from day-to-day. That’s where I would love to see Rory come out firing this week in Ponte Vedra. Go to his natural draw, and stuff some approaches. So far this season, Rors is 87th in SG: Approach.

I can’t wait to watch my guy play this week, and he has a great pairing for the first few days (Webb Simpson and Sergio Garcia). Let’s hope we see Rory in full-flight.

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