For the eighth straight year, Rory Mcllroy will tee it up at the PGA Tour's annual stop in Palm Beach Gardens at the Honda Classic.
The event has become somewhat of a "home game" for Mcllroy who is a Palm Beach Gardens resident and lives just a few minutes from PGA National. The event will once again kick off the Florida Swing, and Mcllroy, who won the event in 2012 and lost in a playoff in 2014, is looking forward to playing in an event that he says suits his eye.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to PGA National for this year’s Honda Classic," McIlroy said in a statement. "This is an important first stop for me in the Florida swing of events and it’s a course that sets up well for my game. In such a strong field, there will be a lot of guys hungry to secure a win in the early part of the season, so I’ve every motivation to get off to a fast start. I have enjoyed success here before and I’d like to see a repeat of that this year.”
While Mcllroy had, by most standards, a successful 2015 a midseason injury derailed what could have been a monumental showdown with Jason Day and Jordan Spieth for much of the second half of the season.
McIlroy ruptured the ankle ligament when his left foot caught in the turf as he was playing soccer with friends July 4. He missed three tournaments, including the British Open, but his season wasn't completely lost. Mcllroy won four times worldwide including the season long Race to Dubai on the European Tour. He did, however, lose his #1 ranking to Spieth and will enter the season at #3 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
In the offseason, Mcllroy got laser eye surgery and will use the Honda Classic to get ready for another showdown with Spieth at Augusta and ultimaately try to get his top ranking back.
"It's a goal to try to reclaim that position as fast as I can," McIlroy said. "I feel like now until 40 is my time to collect some hardware and make my stamp on the game. If I can get off to a good start, I can get back to number one going into the Masters."
The Honda Classic will mark the second of what is expected to be three straight starts in the U.S. for McIlroy. He has already committed to the Northern Trust Open, held the week prior in Los Angeles, and is expected to be in the field for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral the following week.