WATCH: McIlroy Makes 8 On TPC Sawgrass 18th

The four-time Major winner got off to a nightmare start in his Players Championship defence

McIlroy Makes 8 On TPC Sawgrass 18th
(Image credit: PGA Tour)

The four-time Major winner got off to a nightmare start in his Players Championship defence

WATCH: McIlroy Makes 8 On TPC Sawgrass 18th

Rory McIlroy endured a horror start to his Players Championship defence, going out in 43 and +7 to leave himself battling to make the cut.

The four-time Major winner came into the week after a disappointing 76 in the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Still, he finished T10th there and was T6th in his previous start in the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession.

McIlroy double-bogeyed the 10th hole at TPC Sawgrass, his first, and then found himself three over after four holes.

However, disaster was about to strike when he hit two balls in the water on the par-4 18th.

He pulled his drive and then found the water again with an iron.

McIlroy eventually found the green with his fifth shot and three-putted to card a quadruple-bogey.

WATCH: McIlroy Makes 8 On TPC Sawgrass 18th

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Related: Players Championship Live Stream: How to watch the action

McIlroy went on to birdie his next hole to get back to six over.

The Northern Irishman said earlier this week that he still believes his best days are ahead of him.

“No, I don’t think you can ever think that,” he said after being asked if his best days are behind him.

“I’ve talked about this before; you have to be an eternal optimist in this game, and I truly believe that my best days are ahead of me.

“There’s no point in me being out here if I didn’t think that.

“That’s just not part of my psyche or anyone’s psyche out here.

“I think that’s the difference between people that make it to the elite level and the people that don’t, because they don’t think that way.

“I certainly believe that my best days are ahead of me, and I’m working hard to make sure that they are.”

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x