Rory McIlroy Reveals His Secret To His Success At TPC Sawgrass

Rory McIlroy has relatively quietly amassed a pretty impressive record at TPC Sawgrass despite having yet to add The Players Championship trophy to his crowded trophy case. 

In his last five appearances at the PGA Tour’s flagship event, he’s amassed four top-12 finishes, highlighted by T8-T6-T8 run between 2013 and 2015, and he’s tops in enough statistical categories to require three different tweets from Golf Channel’s statman extraordinaire Justin Ray this week. 



McIlroy has come around to liking the event after a few lean years at the onset of his career. So what’s his secret when it comes to solving the Pete Dye design? 

Ironically enough, staying away. 

“I started staying at the beach a few years ago and that’s made the event more enjoyable,” McIlroy told the media on Wednesday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. “I stayed on property before and I just felt I couldn’t get away from it. So to go stay on the beach now, it’s a nice release from everything that is going on around the event. So I actually put a lot of it down that.

“I just go for walks. Even just sit out on the balcony and look out and sort of get away from it a little bit. The beach here is so much better than in Jupiter. It’s big and flat and you can run on it, you can walk on it and really doesn’t pull your legs out like down south.” 


Despite his solid record around Sawgrass, McIlroy has never truly contended on the weekend. He hopes to change that this week.

“This is my ninth time here so I’m no spring chicken anymore,” he said. “I’ve got a few years under my belt and it took me a few years to figure it out, but I’ve had a few top 10’s here. I haven’t been quite right in contention, but I’ve been close enough. So yeah, I think it is about time I step up and give myself a chance on Sunday.”

McIlroy tees off on Thursday and Friday in one of the tournament’s marquee pairings alongside Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. The threesome will begin on Thursday at 8:27 a.m.