Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

McIlroy ready to tame Monster

Rory McIlroy

Doral's Blue Monster holds no fears for Rory McIroy this week.

That’s because he already knows what it’s like to be a winner at the Florida course.

A decade ago, the nine-year-old McIlroy won the prestigious Doral Junior Public Under-10 event on his first visit to the United States.

A champion, then, he’s keen to prove he can take that extra step on the PGA Tour as well after his brilliant showing at last month’s Matchplay and his tied 13th finish in last week’s Honda Classic.

“I can't wait,” he said.

“I've played a lot of junior golf at Doral, so it will be nice to get back. It will be nice to get back to a place that I'm familiar with.

“If I can just keep playing the way I have been, maybe just try and give myself a few more opportunities and try and limit my bogeys, I'll hopefully have another good one next week.”

McIlroy hit six birdies in his finishing round at the PGA National on Sunday — more than anyone else in the field — but that was countered by five dropped shots including two trips to the water.

“It went well,” McIlroy said. “I'm pretty disappointed the way I finished. I got myself into a great position and just let it slip.

“I played a lot better last week at the Matchplay than I did this week but I still finished top 15.

“It's been a solid week. I was hoping for a little better but I still have a big event this week to try and do well there.”

It’s the second world golf championship of the year — and the second in three weeks following the Matchplay event — and the winner that week is a hot favourite to add a fourth WGC title to his growing list of accomplishments.

He is Australian Geoff Ogilvy, the man who beat McIlroy in Arizona en route to his second Matchplay title and is the defending champion this week having triumphed at the same Florida venue 12 months ago.

While both McIlroy and Ogilvy will attract their fair share of attention, the television cameras will be trained on Tiger Woods throughout.

This will be the first strokeplay event of his burgeoning comeback and a much better assessment of the state of his game will be possible than at Tuscon where he lost in the third round.

Besides Ogilvy and Woods, the only other man to have won more than one WGC is Darren Clarke who was in contention last week at the Honda only to fall apart with a closing four over 74.

He’s looking for a big week in an effort to catch the eye of the Masters committee in the hope of securing an invitation.

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