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McIlroy wants Sawgrass redemption

Rory McIlroy starts his third spell as world number one this week by returning to the event he turned his back on last year.

"Looking back it wasn't one of my brightest moments," said the 23-year-old after arriving at Sawgrass for the £5.8million Players Championship, golf's richest tournament.

McIlroy missed the halfway cut on his two previous visits to the PGA Tour's showpiece and has yet to break par on it.

"I don't like the golf course for a start," he once stated. "I find it very awkward off the tee. You're hitting across fairways all the time.

"It's personal preference - some guys love Sawgrass and some guys don't like it so much."

Now the Northern Irishman declares himself "glad to be back - for me it's a very big tournament and it's a tournament that I'd love to win one day".

He is hoping to go one better than last week, when he lost a play-off to Rickie Fowler.

"It gave me a bit of confidence for my first week back after a little (three-week) break," he added. "It was good to get into the play-off, but I would love to have that second shot back."

After Fowler had hit his approach to four feet on the first extra hole McIlroy pushed his more than 20 feet wide and par was not good enough.

"I was in between clubs and went with the wedge instead of the sand wedge. Looking back on it - hindsight is a great thing - I didn't really have anything to lose with Rickie being in there close."

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