McIlroy won at PGA National in 2012 to move to world No. 1 for the first time in his career, but last year, in the midst of an equipment change and swing woes, he had an embarrassing walk-off during the second round that he initially blamed on a toothache.
In a tournament release, the 24-year-old admitted that last year he had a “tough week, a forgettable week” where he “let frustrations get the better of me.”
But, he said, “I’m playing really well now, enjoying the game much more, and I am looking forward to getting back to PGA National. You could nearly say that I have unfinished business to attend to this year at the Honda.” This is McIlroy’s new hometown event after moving to South Florida in late 2012.
With his T-9 finish Sunday in Dubai, McIlroy has now finished inside the top 10 in six of his last eight starts worldwide. That includes a slump-busting victory at the Australian Open in November.
After two weeks off, the world No. 7 is scheduled to play three events in a row – Match Play, Honda and Doral.