Rory McIlroy’s long-time coach Michael Bannon jets into Florida later this week after the famed Bear Trap handed McIlroy another mauling on the final day of the Honda Classic. McIlroy failed to break 70 over four rounds of the Honda Classic with scores of 72, 72, 73 and 72 for a shock nine-over par tally. It is the first occasion on the PGA Tour McIlroy has not broken 70 in any round of event since the 2017 Players Championship. The effort handed McIlroy and a then share of 62nd place at the close of his fifth of eight events he will contest ahead of the Masters. The Bear Trap, and named after course re-designer Jack Nicklaus, comprises the 15th, 16th and 17th holes at PGA National. McIlroy was five-over in playing the three holes for the four days including posting a triple-bogey and day two and a quadruple-bogey on the final day when he put both his tee shot and penalty third shot into the water guarding the green. “It’s nice yes and not I’m now off the golf course as I would like to be still playing out there,” he said only to Irish Golfer Magazine. “Looking back on the week it was a tough first two days and the course played a little easier on the weekend but then I just didn’t play well over the four days even though I felt I played okay today. “I just made a mess of 17 again, so I played that hole in a few over this week. “So, I just need to get onto the range and work a bit on my iron-play and my wedge-play because playing in the wind this week the ball just kept creeping back on my stance. “I then got a little bit in front of it and it would go right and if I didn’t quite time it, it would go left.” He then revealed exclusively to Irish Golfer Magazine long-time coach, Michael Bannon arrives into Florida on Friday ahead of his next event and playing for a first occasion in the March 8th starting Valspar Championship near Naples on the Florida west coach. And while McIlroy has elected not to travel to Mexico this week for the $US 10m WGC- Mexico Championship he is partnering his father, Gerry this morning (Monday US time) in the annual Seminole Pro-Member event. Joining McIlroy at the ultra-exclusive Seminole club will be fellow Irishman Shane Lowry. Lowry produced his first sub-70 in nine rounds on the PGA Tour in signing off for three-under par 67 to get back to seven-over par tally. Lowry was met by his wife, Wendy and long-time coach, Neil Manchip who was returning to Ireland Sunday night US time. The Clara golfer capped his last day with six birdies and the highlights in holing a 20-footer for birdie at the par-3 seventh hole and then getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the last. “Six birdies on the scorecard looks really good and a nice way to end the week,” said Lowry only to Irish Golfer Magazine. “I just played a few bad holes on Friday and Saturday and that cost me but it was so tough out there all week and this week has been as tough as any U.S. Open I’ve contested. “Overall, it was an average finish but I tried my best and there was a lot of good stuff in there. “The good thing I am right into the new season but also after five weeks in a row I am really looking forward to this week off.” And while Lowry is desperately looking forward to a break he has an 8am tee-time Monday local Florida time at the nearby very exclusive Seminole Club in the annual Pro-Member outing that has been running now for 55-years. “I’ve never played Seminole, so it’s going to be amazing as I’ve heard so many great reports about the course,” he said. “My next event is the week after next as I’m playing the Valspar and it’s always nice to end any tournament with a good score with plenty of birdies on the card and that is how I look at it.”
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