Rory McIlroy Reflects on What Might Have Been at Cognizant Classic, Draws Positive Takeaways from PGA Tour Performance

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Rory McIlroy is optimistic about his chances of contending on the PGA Tour as he progresses through the Florida Swing, despite a contemplative week at the Cognizant Classic where he pondered what might have been.

Beginning the year with a solid performance on the DP World Tour, McIlroy came close to clinching the Dubai Invitational, followed by a successful defense of his title at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic. However, his start to the FedExCup season has been somewhat sluggish.

At the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, adversely affected by weather, McIlroy finished tied for 66th in an event cut short to 54 holes due to storms. He then made a modest recovery at the Genesis Invitational, improving from an underwhelming first round to tie for 24th.

Entering the PGA National as a favoured contender and the 2012 champion (back when it was known as the Honda Classic), McIlroy was well-positioned for a weekend surge after consecutive 67s left him just three shots behind the lead midway through.



However, a third-round 72 saw him fall out of the top contenders, though he made a determined effort in a rain-interrupted Sunday, finishing with a three-under 68. This performance put McIlroy on a final score of 10 under, securing a probable top-20 finish.

Reflecting on his week, McIlroy shared with the media, "It was a week of what might have been. I believe my overall play was slightly better than the results indicated. That troublesome 16th hole in the third round, where I took a triple-bogey, along with a few other minor errors, showed there's room for improvement. Yet, it's clear that my game is moving in the right direction."

Highlighting his strengths, McIlroy added, "My driving was outstanding this week. I was the top performer in strokes gained off the tee at Riviera during the Genesis Invitational, and it's likely I've maintained that standard here. Driving is a crucial element of my game, and as long as I can keep that up, I just need the other aspects to align. I'm hopeful that everything will come together in the next few weeks."

Next: Austin Eckroat Clinches First Victory

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