Golf PGA Tour

Honda Classic Preview: The Return of Rory Mcilroy

Rory Mcilroy returns to the PGA Tour this week at the Honda Classic in Florida.

This will be his first event in the US since a tie for second at the Tour Championship.

The Northern Irishman lost in a playoff to Russell Henley last year and will hope that he can go one better and regain the title that he won in 2012.

Mcilroy had a fantastic 2014, including two major victories, but this time last year things were not looking quite as rosy.

Heading into this event last year he was on a run of form that would eventually see him fall outside the world’s top 10. Things look a lot different now though. In his last 12 starts he has finished as winner or runner-up on an incredible eight occasions. He has opened up a huge gap at the top of the rankings is clearly the best player on the planet right now.

Mcilroy has a good record at the event and will be the clear favourite when they tournament starts on Thursday.

14 of the world’s top 30 players will make their way to the PGA National, the course designed by Jack Nicklaus. One of those players is Dustin Johnson. Coming off of a playoff loss in last week’s Northern Trust Open the big-hitting American will be optimistic about his chances.

Johnson has been in wonderful form since returning for a long break from the game, the only thing missing is a win. It is hard to pick against Mcilroy, but it would not be a surprise if it is DJ who is lifting the trophy come Sunday evening.

As well as Mcilroy, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and Graeme Mcdowell will all make their first appearances on the PGA tour this season.

The PGA National course is home to perhaps the most famous stretch of holes outside of Amen Corner at Augusta. Holes 15, 16 and 17 make up “bear trap.” The holes can play incredibly difficult, particularly if as predicted the winds get up. This stretch will be key for anybody who wants to take home this title.

Coverage of the Honda Classic will begin on Thursday at 7pm on Sky Sports.

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