Rory McIlroy dealing with sore back again

Rory McIlroy dealing with sore back again”

And the move did not seem to do any harm as the left-handed Californian opened with a respectable two-under-par 70 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on Thursday. They are preceded by groupings of Masters champion Sergio Garcia of Spain and former winners Adam Scott of Australia and Matt Kuchar, and an global trio of Briton Justin Rose, German Martin Kaymer and Spaniard Jon Rahm. These weren't tears of sadness over the one major which still eludes him, or tears of jealousy over a buddy slipping his arms into the green jacket instead. "They've set it up well", Scott told AAP. There's no analytical proof of this, but the majority of professional golfers let their performance dictate their mood. It also was that kind of day at TPC Sawgrass' Stadium Course. McIlroy and Garcia, though, generally find themselves on the other end of the spectrum, with their moods largely dictating performance. "I've at least won my first major". He doesn't possess the rah-rah, heart-on-his-sleeve kind of emotion (though he has been known to shush a Ryder Cup crowd) or the kick-his-bag, temper-tantrum kind of emotion (though he has been known to helicopter a 3-iron into a nearby pond). He'll head home after this week to get ready for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the flagship event in Europe. So I maybe should have just taken it a bit easier over the weekend, but I was excited to get back, excited to get ready to play again and so maybe just being a little over keen was a detriment.

Rahm is looking to become just the third player to win the Players in his first try, joining Hal Sutton (1983) and Craig Perks (2002). When asked what effect marriage might have on his game, he acquiesced that it could provide a positive outcome. With a back right pin position, most players laid up.

"That hole has been good to me a lot of times", Garcia said, "but this week it's been very good".

"Just had two holes get away from me", said Fowler, who hit 11 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation.

"Yeah", Sergio said laughing, "it's you, me and Kooch".

His final tally for the opening round was a 1-over 73, which is a half-dozen strokes off the overnight lead, but still not bad considering he felt it could've been "a 75 or 76".

The world number three has recorded just one top-10 finish in 2017 and has fallen more than five points behind world number one Dustin Johnson in the rankings, although his form has been affected by his mother's battle with lung cancer.

"If there was any weight on anyone's shoulders, it was Erica", he said.

"If I feel good, I'm probably going to go for it". I feel like we've been married for the past year-and-a-half anyway.

"I've already limited the schedule down a lot, obviously all of the travelling we've been doing, and everything that's been going on", said Willet, who withdrew after nine holes of his second round.

McIlroy's original injury was due in part to extensive testing on golf equipment in the winter leading up to his first tournament in South Africa, where he lost in a playoff despite almost withdrawing.

As he explained earlier this week, there's a renewed sense of calmness.

"No one's going insane low or anything like that", he said. "It's been overwhelming, but at the same time, I need to get back to the way I was feeling, the way I was swinging, at the Masters". "It's something I don't really want to think about, but you do now and then think about it".

He didn't show that next level Thursday.

David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., also shot 70, Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C. shot 71 and Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask, shot 2-over. The course definitely played tougher later in the day.

This was the first step in that next chapter, one in which all choppy waters have calmed and any unpredictability has been settled.

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