McIlroy commits to The Honda Classic
December 07, 2017
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
Rory McIlroy amazing approach at 2014 Honda Classic
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – Rory McIlroy is returning to The Honda Classic, the tournament announced Thursday.
McIlroy, who’s in the midst of a three-month break as he recovers from a lingering rib injury, has added the PGA TOUR’s stop in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to his developing schedule for the upcoming year. The Honda Classic, which will be held Feb. 22-25 at PGA National’s Champion Course, is scheduled to be his fifth start of 2018.
McIlroy, the 2016 FedExCup champion, will return from his layoff with two European Tour events in the Middle East next month. He’ll begin his PGA TOUR season with three consecutive starts: the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Feb. 8-11, Genesis Open on Feb. 15-18 and The Honda Classic on Feb. 22-25. McIlroy, who’s making his debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, is scheduled to play alongside his father, Gerry.
After an off week, McIlroy will make his debut in the Valspar Championship on March 8-11 and then play the following week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
McIlroy struggled with a rib injury throughout last year. He finished 58th in last season’s FedExCup standings and went winless worldwide for the first time since 2008. He hasn’t played since October.
“I definitely think the injury was the biggest thing that affected my season,” McIlroy recently told the No Laying Up podcast. “If someone was to say, ‘Why didn’t things go the way you wanted them to this year?’ I would say because of the injury.
“You swing away from pain, so I started to get the club way on the inside on the downswing and my path was so far from in-and-out because anything going left at impact was putting pressure on that rib and on that joint and it would hurt.
“I played for four months without hitting a shot left-to-right and you can’t do that.”
McIlroy won The Honda Classic in 2012 to reach No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time and was runner-up at the event two years later, losing in a four-man playoff won by Russell Henley. He has missed the cut in his past two appearances at PGA National, though, and withdrew mid-round from the 2013 tournament, citing a painful wisdom tooth. He missed last year’s event because of his rib injury.
Despite his injury struggles in 2017, McIlroy is optimistic about the upcoming year.
“These three months (off) could give me the foundation to have the next 10 years be even better than the 10 years I’ve just had,” McIlroy said. “That turns a great career into one of the greatest careers."