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Rory trending in the right direction at TPC Sawgrass

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Rory McIlroy will be looking to continue to his improving trend at The Players Championship this week.

TPC Sawgrass was like his kryptonite early in his career. He missed the cut in his first three starts at The Players. In fact, he didn’t break par the first three years he played the event. Since then, he has started to figure out things, tying for eighth in 2014 and tying for sixth last year.

“I didn't get off to the best of starts in my career here at The Players,” said McIlroy, the No. 1 player in the world. “But I feel like each and every year I come here I learn to play the golf course a little bit better. I've adopted a more of a sort of conservative strategy over the last couple of years, and it's really paid off. I had to battle to make the cut last year, but once I was in there, I had a good weekend and finished the tournament off well.”

McIlroy also has momentum going for him coming off his victory at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship last weekend.

“I feel like I'm playing well, so, hopefully, I can improve on those eighth- and sixth-place finishes over the past couple years,” McIlroy said.

McIlroy says he isn’t tired from playing all those holes last week winning the Match Play. He played 121 holes over seven matches.

“I feel pretty fresh,” he said.

McIlroy will be grouped with Jordan Spieth and Jason Day in the first two rounds of The Players. They’re off at 8:39 a.m. ET on Thursday and again at 1:49 p.m. ET on Friday.

“When I saw the draw come out, I was excited to play, not just with Jordan but obviously with Jason Day as well,” McIlroy said. “It's always nice when you're a part of a group that's got a little bit of a buzz around it and a good atmosphere.”