A glance at the record books would confirm that the TPC course at Sawgrass has never been one of Rory McIlroy's favourite venues.
RORY McILROY has revealed spending time on the beach has given him the belief he can add the Players Championship to his glittering golfing CV. 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.
"I feel like I've played a little bit better here as I've gone along, and once I started to be a little bit more conservative, I started to top-10 it and give myself half a chance".
"I haven't played here in a little bit now, and I'm excited to come back and play, take a look at the golf course, see how it's playing", he said.
The 29-year-old's first attempts to win the so-called "fifth major" at Sawgrass resulted in three straight missed cuts, but since then the Northern Irishman has finished eighth, sixth, eighth and 12th before a tie for 35th last year.
The victor of 11 PGA Tour titles hasn't won this year and has four top-10s in 10 individual starts. "I think it's about time I step up and give myself a chance on Sunday". Woods, 42, finished in a tie for seventh when the Scottish venue hosted the 1999 Open, then joint 12th in 2007.
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. "That's a golf course you can't fake it around there".
Albion clash at Anfield is looking like a must-win for Liverpool
Other absentees include Emre Can, Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez. Adam Lallana is back in training after recovering from a hamstring problem.
After closing to within a shot of the leader Patrick Reed early in the final round, McIlroy struggled to a closing 74 at Augusta National, but is refusing to be downbeat about the outcome. We're not even halfway through the season.
"It is one of the toughest tests in golf with potentially the best field in golf".
Complacency will not be a problem for Day, who has a burning desire to regain his world number one ranking. We've got the other three Major championships. 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. "I think I've got some demons to exorcise", said a candid Lahiri. The first time you get on some Pete Dye courses they're very unusual and they set you up at wrong angles, and visually they're just a little bit not what you want to see, but you learn to deal with it and play the way he wants you to play.
"It's still not quite there".
McIlroy was honest, as always, and showed just how much he pays attention.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.