Following his WGC Cadillac Matchplay Championship win, Rory McIlroy is lurking just two shots off the lead after round one of The Players Championship in Florida.
Having carded an opening 3-under-par 69 at TPC Sawgrass, the world number one looks to be getting back to his imperious best and this is grim news indeed for the competition at The Players.
“I did feel sharp. This is sort of the middle of a long stretch here,” McIlroy said. “I have got three events in a row after this, so it’s all about trying to conserve as much energy as possible and putting all that energy into the 18 holes that I’m going to play that day.”
McIlroy is now priced up at 4/1 to convert a promising start into successive tournament victories and add the unofficial fifth major to his growing hoard of silverware.
Having closed out the tournament by shooting 8-under-par over the weekend at TPC Sawgrass a year ago to finish tied for sixth; these odds should not be balked at.
The parallels to McIlroy’s double-major-winning season in 2014 are already quite stark, and whether or not he goes onto lift The Players, it may just be the opportune moment to back him for the US Open at least, at 5/1.
A spree of top -10 finishes in the spring time, including another at the Masters, laid the foundations for a triple-event winning spree, sandwiching the WGC Bridgestone Invitational between The Open and PGA Championships.
Reminiscent of Tiger Woods in his pomp, when the Ulsterman brings his A game there really isn’t a whole lot other players can do to match him.
The ominous part is that the winning post has arrived even earlier this season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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