Rory McIlroy is confident history will repeat itself and he’ll bounce back from his current form slump a winner.
McIlroy tees up in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational having missed the cut in last week’s Valspar Championship after also missing the cut last month in the AT & T Pebble Beach Open.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where McIlroy competes for a fourth straight year, is the seventh of eight events the current World No. 13 is contesting ahead of the 5th April commencing Masters.
McIlroy had long-time coach, Michael Bannon with him last week at the Valspar and after missing the Copperhead course cut the duo headed back to the Bear’s Club where they spent the weekend working together ahead of Bannon returning to Belfast to celebrate his 60th birthday.
McIlroy last won in late 2016 and is currently on a second longest winless run in his 10-year pro career but as McIlroy pointed out the ancient club-and-ball game that’s handed him four Majors and 18 other pro victories has always been one of peaks and troughs.
“The work I did with Michael last week when he was over was no more intense than any other practice session we’ve had and I always go through periods like this in a year,” he said.
“Everyone has periods of ups and downs but then I remember we had an intense period after The Open at Royal Lytham (2012 – T60th) and this was after a good start to my year and a real purple patch including winning the Honda Classic to going to No. 1 in the world,” he said.
“Then after working with Michael I went to Akron for the Bridgestone Invitational and finished fifth which was a real spark and I recall saying to myself: ‘Oh, This feels better’.
“Then the next week I went to Kiawah Island and won the PGA Championship and then won back-to-back FedEx Cup tournaments. So, there has always been periods in my career like that and this game is not always linear as it ebbs and flows, and I guess it’s like what Padraig (Harrington) says and that is it’s always work in progress.”
And to back-up his comments McIlroy led his team to a share of second with a combined 11-under par in the Wednesday morning Pro-Am.
McIlroy posted an individual five-under par 67 to be tied with Justin Rose just a shot back from former Open Champion, Louis Oosthuizen.
IRISH TEE TIMES (Irish time)
12.11pm – Padraig Harrington
12.35pm – Graeme McDowell
12.59pm – Shane Lowry
5.08pm – Rory McIlroy