March 13, 2024

Rory McIlroy explains why best golfer in the world is getting even better | Golf | Sport

Rory McIlroy has explained why Scottie Scheffler’s form is continuing to get better. The American further cemented his status as the PGA Tour’s top-ranked player by winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 10.

On the final day, the 28-year-old left a very strong field in his wake as he won the title by an impressive five shots. That marked his seventh championship win in two years and his consistency is further illustrated by his ability to give himself chances to win events.

Scheffler has finished inside the top 12 in 25 of his last 30 tournaments and the last time he missed the cut at an event was August 2022. His only weakness at times has been putting, but he is certainly the man to beat heading into the event at the Players Stadium Course.

Scheffler’s closest challenger is World No. 2 McIlroy, who is a former champion at TPC Sawgrass, after claiming victory in 2019. Ahead of Thursday’s event, the Northern Irishman shared some kind words about Scheffler’s game, which is only continuing to improve.

“Anyone can pop up and win an event here or there or get on a good run, but the consistent performances that Scottie [Scheffler] has been putting in week-in and week-out – every time he tees it up – is incredible,” McIlroy told Sky Sports. “His ball striking is, honestly, on another level compared to everyone else right now. We knew if he started to hole putts, then this sort of stuff would happen.

“The play on the golf course has sort of taken a back seat to everything else [because of the divide in golf], which is a shame. I’d say if we were in a different place in the world of golf, Scottie’s golf would probably be getting a lot more applause and praise.”

McIlroy began the season in form as his second-place finish at the Dubai Invitational on January 14 was backed up by victory at the Dubai Desert Classic a week later. However, the 34-year-old has failed to finish inside the top 20 of each of the four events he has played since tasting success in the Middle East.

The golf star has admitted his iron play in recent events has been below par, but he has impressed off the tee and hopes to fix the errors in his game in the build-up to The Masters in April – the first major of the year. “Another great week off the tee,” McIlroy said after finishing joint-21st at Bay Hill. “I feel like I found a good feeling with the putting as well. Just the iron play’s let me down.

“It has sort of been the same story the last few weeks. Struggling with a left miss with the irons and it’s hard because the longer clubs, the woods, feel so good and then the irons don’t really feel that good. So I feel like I’m having to put like two different swings on the woods and the irons at the minute, which is a struggle.”


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