Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

McIlroy seeks to solve Sawgrass puzzle as Day eyes another win

McIlroy seeks to solve Sawgrass puzzle as Day eyes another win

McIlroy plays a shot from the 17th tee during a practice round prior to the 2018 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

As per usual, last year's Players Championship was filled with plenty of drama. He reached No 1 for the first time with his runner-up finish in the 2015 PGA Championship, and he returned to the top on three more occasions for a total of 26 weeks. 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.

"I certainly go back and take a look at those moments, that was a pretty good run back then", he said at his pre-tournament press conference. "You just have to play this golf course a certain way and be a little bit better than everyone else with your irons and your wedges, and that's usually a good combination around here".

'This is my ninth time here so I'm not a spring chicken any more.

Cowen, who has worked with past Players Championship winners and major champions Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia, likes what he sees in Kiradech after starting work with the Thai at the beginning of previous year.

"It was disappointing that I didn't get results I wanted, but I took a lot of positives from the fact that I probably didn't have my best stuff at Augusta and I still was able to play my way into the final group and contend. I think it's about time I step up and give myself a chance on Sunday". He needed only 12th place alone last week at Quail Hollow (he tied for 21st).

McIlroy has not had a bad season, highlighted by a victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but this week will be his first high-pressure test since last month's U.S. Masters disappointment. In just his second appearance at TPC Sawgrass, South Korea's Si Woo Kim overcame a two-shot deficit on Sunday with a final-round 69 to become the youngest victor in tournament history at 21 years of age.

Playing the final round with eventual victor Patrick Reed, McIlroy was never a factor after missing a four-foot eagle putt at the second hole.

Melanoma Monday raising awareness about dangers of skin cancer
S. #210, Edina and on Monday, May 21, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.at Minnesota Oncology Maplewood Cancer Center, 1580 Beam Ave., Maplewood. It is estimated that this year the US will see roughly 91,000 new cases of melanoma, resulting in about 9,000 deaths.

"If you don't feel too comfortable over the driver, you have some people to stop that golf ball for you before it goes out of bounds", he said. We're not even halfway through the season.

"So, it gives you motivation".

A field that includes each of the top 50 golfers in the world will vie this week for the biggest non-major paycheck in professional golf. 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.

Complacency will not be a problem for Day, who has a burning desire to regain his world number one ranking.

"I feel a lot of departments are working but my scoring hasn't been as good as I would like it to be".

"My last 27 holes at Hilton Head, I was two-for-15 inside 10 feet for birdie", he said.

"It's still not quite there".

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