Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

TPC Sawgrass challenging for golf's best

TPC Sawgrass challenging for golf's best

Rory McIlroy believes a conservative approach to taking on TPC Sawgrass is crucial to success at The Players Championship.

- After posting his best finish at The Players Championship a year ago, Fairmont native William McGirt returns to TPC Sawgrass after a week's rest. Since missing the weekend for the third straight time though, there's been a noticeable improvement in McIlroy's play at Sawgrass. A tie for sixth in 2014 remains the closest that he has come to adding the so-called fifth major and the $1.98 million (about £1.46 million) first prize to his collection of four major titles.

Warming to his theme, the current world No.19 added with a grin: "We haven't been paired together in years, and as I look at the cover of the newspaper and the pairing is on there and the excitement that's been going on around here, it gets me thinking, why don't we just bypass all the ancillary stuff of a tournament and just go head-to-head and just have kind of a high-stake, winner-take-all match". He can frustrate you by the design of his golf courses, and you feel like you're getting bad breaks, and that can get under your skin a little bit.

"This is my ninth time here so I'm no spring chicken anymore", he said.

McIlroy's first attempt to win the "fifth major" resulted in three missed cuts but since then finishes of eighth, sixth, eighth and 12th showed he was getting to grips with Sawgrass, before he ended in a tie for 35th previous year.

"It took me a few years to figure it out but I've had a few top 10s here and I think it is about time that I step up and give myself a chance on Sunday".

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"Looking back at the WGCs, I've shown I can knock on the door in those big events and at the majors, I'm making more cuts". Yes, that's the same Michael Campbell that won a U.S. Open. There's a lot of golf to play. The point is that we get all caught up in what's denoted a major and what's not, and we forget that it was all arbitrary to begin with.

"So, it gives you motivation". We're not even halfway through the season.

Jason Day hits out of the rough on seven during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. It is. It's sort of I stayed pretty much on property there at the - at that hotel, and I just felt like I couldn't get away from it, and it's busy and there's a lot of people, and so to go and stay on the beach now, it's a nice sort of release from everything that's going on around the event.

"At this point in my career, I obviously have the PGA circled", said Spieth, who only needs the PGA Championship for the career slam.

"It's still not quite there". The correction is I just need to hit the back of the ball with a square clubface.

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