PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Move over, Luke Donald: Rory McIlroy has a patent pending on the back-door top 10 on the PGA Tour.
McIlroy birdied each of the final three holes at TPC Sawgrass for the second consecutive day, carding a 6-under 66 in the final round to finish The Players Championship at 9 under. The effort will likely secure the Ulsterman a top-10 finish after making the cut on the number – a feat that he has now improbably pulled off in each of his last three starts.
“Overall, it’s been another solid week, another top 10 it looks like, another back-door top 10 as I like to call them,” McIlroy said. “It’s getting close. I’m playing really well, I’m playing solid…things are heading in the right direction.”
McIlroy struggled for most of the week on the front nine at the Stadium Course, finally breaking par with a 1-under 35 during the final round. His dominance of the back nine continued, as the 25-year-old came home in 31 and played the side in 17 under for the week.
“I feel very comfortable on the back nine here,” he said. “Just played the front nine a little better and it ended up in shooting a lower score.”
McIlroy tied for eighth at both the Masters and the Wells Fargo Championship after barely making it past the cut line, and following another weekend rally he had a positive outlook on the week as a whole.
“I think I was 120th at one point in this golf tournament on Friday afternoon,” he said. “So to go from there to finishing in the top 10 is a good effort.”