Wednesday 23 May 2018

McIlroy hoping Dell memories can help him find winning touch


Rory McIlroy. Photo: Getty Images
Rory McIlroy. Photo: Getty Images
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

Rory McIlroy begins the defence of his Dell Technologies Championship title today hoping that familiarity with the TPC Boston course works to his advantage.

McIlroy won in Boston last year and also annexed the Tour Championship in the final event at East Lake to clinch the FedEx Cup title and the $10 million bonus that goes with that honour.

The four-time Major champion is one of 100 players who have made it to this stage, with only 70 going forward to the third event of the series the week after next.

This is McIlroy's seventh time to play the Dell Technologies event, and he has won twice, first in 2012 and again last year.

"Always good to be back in Boston. Good memories here, obviously winning in '12 and winning in '16.

"I've always enjoyed the golf course. It's set up well for me. You have to drive it well. I've always felt comfortable here.

"Last year I didn't get off to the greatest of starts.

"I was able to rally at the weekend and got a win which set me up to go and win the FedEx Cup.

"I sort of find myself in a similar position this week to what I was last year, needing a good week to kick-start the next few weeks.

"Hopefully I can find that little spark that I found last year, and go on and play well up to the Tour Championship," he said.

This year has so far proved disappointing for McIlroy who intends to finish out the season at the end of the FedEx Cup to fully heal the rib injury that has affected his performances.

The last time he went through a campaign without a win was 2008.

"I'd hate to think that I'll end this year without a win.

"It would be nice to get a win before I shut it down for a while. I feel like I'm capable," he said.

The Northern Irishman is currently 43rd in the rankings which are led by world number one Dustin Johnson, who conquered Open champion Jordan Spieth in a dramatic play-off at the Northern Trust Open last Sunday.

Spieth is in second place and said he will not suffer any hangover from the defeat to Johnson.

DJ came from five shots behind after 13 holes to force a play-off, which he won with a birdie at the 18th, the first extra hole.

"I didn't lose the tournament," Spieth said.

"He won it. I played well. My game feels good. I recognised a couple of tendencies that I got into with my swing towards the end of the round that prevented me from hitting great iron shots like I did before, so I know what to work on."

The tournament starts today and ends on Monday. McIlroy tees off at 1.04pm local time (6.04pm Irish) with Si Woo Kim and Ollie Schniederjans.

  • D+D Real Czech Masters, Live, Sky Sports Golf, 10.0am
  • Dell Technologies Championship, Live, Sky Sports Golf, 8.0pm

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