Favourite McIlroy faces tough battle to maintain form at Sawgrass


Rory McIlroy may be the big 10/1 favourite to win the Players Championship this weekend but the Northern Irishman hasn’t had things all his own way in his two previous appearances at Sawgrass.

In fact, the World No.1 has a pretty dire record at the Florida course and has missed the cut on the two previous occasions he’s made the trip to America – and last year he didn’t even leave his sofa for the flagship PGA Tour event.

However, McIlroy is a different player and person to the one who decided to skip the event last term and, following his US Open win in June, he’s overtaken even Luke Donald as the most consistent player on tour, and has only twice finished outside the top five since August.

With McIlroy in that kind of form, having an each-way punt on the current World No.1 – who just missed out on another victory in a play-off against Rickie Fowler at Quail Hollow on Sunday – could be worth consideration.

Elsewhere in the field, Englishmen Luke Donald and Lee Westwood – who are paired together for the opening two rounds – should not be ignored.

Both are priced at 14/1 to win their maiden Players Championship while Phil Mickleson is looking for his second win in the £1million tournament.

He hasn’t had a top ten finish at the event since his win in 2007 though and his current price of 20/1 may be a little short – especially as the tournament has been won by steady but unspectacular pros like KJ Choi (80/1) and Tim Clark (300/1) in recent years.