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    • McIlroy in field at The Honda Classic

    • Rory McIlroy said he is excited to return to PGA National Resort & Spa. (Cannon/Getty Images) Rory McIlroy said he is excited to return to PGA National Resort & Spa. (Cannon/Getty Images)

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Rory McIlroy, who won the 2012 Honda Classic at PGA National Resort & Spa and is presently one of the hottest players in the world, has joined the field for the 2014 edition of the PGA TOUR event, which will be played February 24-March 2.

    McIlroy has once again looked like the player who soared to No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings a little more than a year ago, recently winning the Australian Open by a stroke over Masters champion Adam Scott, finishing second three weeks ago at Abu Dhabi (a two-stroke penalty kept him from winning) and finishing in the top 10 five times in his last eight starts.

    "I really can't wait to get back to The Honda," said McIlroy, who presently is ranked No. 7. "It is one of my favorite events of the year, and winning in 2012 was an important landmark in my career.

    "Having a place in Palm Beach now also gives the tournament a kind of special feeling ... nearly like a home event. Last year, admittedly, I had a tough week; a forgettable week. I guess I let frustrations get the better of me and perhaps should have adopted a more mature approach. But I'm playing really well now, enjoying the game much more, and I am looking forward to getting back to PGA National. You could nearly say that I have unfinished business to attend to this year at The Honda."

    McIlroy will take on another world class field in The Honda which already includes fellow Top 10 players Adam Scott (No. 2), Zach Johnson (No. 6) and Sergio Garcia (No. 9).

    Graeme McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champ who also won the RBC Heritage Classic in 2013 and is now ranked No. 15, also has committed along with Charl Schwartzel (No. 18), Hideki Matsuyama (No. 22), Thomas Bjorn (No. 24), Jamie Donaldson (No. 27), Lee Westwood (No. 29), Louis Oosthuizen (No. 30), Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (No. 38), Patrick Reed (No. 45), Martin Kaymer (No. 47), and Chris Kirk (No. 49).

    Other players who have committed include Robert Allenby, 1997 Honda champ Stuart Appleby, two-time Honda winner Mark Calcavecchia (1987 and 1998), Stewart Cink, Erik Compton, Retief Goosen, Dudley Hart, Charles Howell III, Trevor Immelman, Sean O'Hair, 2011 Honda champ Rory Sabbatini, 1999 Honda champion Vijay Singh, Boo Weekley, Mike Weir, 2007 Honda champion Mark Wilson and 2009 Honda champion Y.E. Yang.

    McIlroy's resurgence has been propelled by top-rate driving and the supreme ball control that made him one of the top young stars in golf the past several years. In 2012 at The Honda, McIlroy held off a ferocious Sunday charge from Tiger Woods (62) to win by two strokes.

    "I feel good about my game and feel like I'm back to the place that I want to be," McIlroy said. "I'm driving the ball well, hitting the ball solid and giving myself plenty of chances for birdies. And if I can keep doing that, the wins will come.

    "Things are really looking good and I'm in a really good frame of mind. I've done some good work and felt like it was coming together for me at the end of last year. I had a good off-season and worked hard on a few things, and it's good to see that that's coming out on the golf course and I'm starting to hit the ball very well. I feel like I'm starting this year on such a different sort of platform. Everything feels like it has fallen into place and I can just focus on my golf. I'm just really excited to start 2014 and get back to playing the golf that I know that I can."

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