With a final-round 70, Rory McIlroy claimed a one-shot victory over Jim Furyk at The PLAYERS Championship.
McIlroy finished his four rounds at TPC Sawgrass on 16-under par to secure his 15th career PGA Tour title. The victory earned the 29-year old native of Holywood, Northern Ireland $2,225,000 and 600 FedExCup points.
Afterwards, McIlroy met with the media in the press room at the TPC Sawgrass Resort. Here are a few pulls from the back and forth.
This week’s 3 Questions for the Winner is powered by Taylormade Golf, the brand Rory McIlroy trusted to win the PLAYERS Championship.
THE MEANING OF VICTORY
Going through what you’ve been through today and over the course of the start of the year, just what does this win mean to you?
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, it means a lot. You know, I knew today was going to be difficult just by looking at the forecast. But the good thing is it wasn’t just difficult for me, it was difficult for everyone else.
I thought anything in the 60s today was probably going to get it done for me, and I didn’t quite get to that number, but I needed to show a lot of character out there, too, over through 4, double bogeyed 4, hit it in the water, and I think all the experiences I’ve had over the last few weeks in terms of trying to win and not getting over the line definitely helped me today.
Maybe if I hadn’t have had those experiences, I wouldn’t be sitting up here with this trophy, so I’m thankful and grateful for those experiences I’ve had this year. Yes, it would have been nice to maybe get another win, but it sort of made it all worth it, the fact that this win has come at this golf tournament, a tournament where Sawgrass and I didn’t have the greatest relationship starting off, and I’m very thankful to the PGA TOUR for putting it back to March. That was very helpful for me. Thank you.
Yeah, I think — I’m just really proud of myself, the way I played the last few holes, especially after bogeying the 14th from the middle of the fairway. The second shot on 15 to set up that birdie putt was the best shot of the day by far. And then how I played the last few holes, I birdied 16, kept telling myself on the way to the 17th tee, just make three more good swings.
That’s all you need to do, make a good swing in here, two good swings at the last, and this thing is yours, and to step up and make those three good swings, it’s very satisfying knowing that it’s in there when it needs to be. Very proud, very honored to be able to call myself a PLAYERS champion, a tournament I haven’t won before, so great to obviously add to the CV.
COMPARING CURRENT FORM TO PEAK RORY
This is not the first time in your career that you’ve had an extended stretch of good play. How would you compare your confidence sitting right here versus perhaps 2012 or 2014 or some of those other high points?
RORY MCILROY: Similar — I don’t know if I like the word confidence. I like just I’m comfortable. I’m very comfortable with where everything is. And yes, confidence comes from that, or I don’t know what comes first, but I’ve sort of simplified everything.
I’m working on really one thing in my golf swing. I sort of haven’t — I literally — I do some practice around the short game area when I get to tournaments. I’ve done very little at home, and it’s probably the best my short game has ever been.
I’m not saying that I don’t practice, but I’m saying that I feel like I’ve figured out a way to manage my time better and what needs addressed and what doesn’t. So yeah, I’m comfortable.
I go back to 2012, yes, I won five times, but I think I missed five cuts that year. 2014, I had the wins — yeah, in terms of just the run of golf, I think this is the best start to a year I’ve probably made, and I think I’m on a really good path, and I just want to keep going. I think — I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m confident in the path that I’m on.
So yeah, I’m as confident as I ever have been with that.
EYEING THE MASTERS
You’re already the betting favorite for the Masters. Do you feel like you might have to do anything different to manage the buildup between now and April?
RORY MCILROY: No, just keep doing the same thing. I feel like I’ve managed the first six weeks or six tournaments of the year very well, even with some noise around me, whether it is, he can’t close, he can’t plays on Sundays, blah, blah, blah.
I’ve just got to do my thing, and if I go and I concentrate on me, control what I can do, good golf and good attitude takes care of the rest. And if I go to Augusta with a similar golf game to what I have now and the attitude I’ve shown over the first few weeks of the year, I think I’ll have a great chance.
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