PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Rory McIlroy will miss the cut for the third time in three tries at The Players Championship. Good friend Graeme McDowell believes McIlroy's poor track record here may have created a self-fulfilling prophecy.
'Something about this golf course doesn't fit him and he knows that in his heart,' McDowell said Friday. 'He started off badly the last few times he's been here. Rory's very much a confidence player.'
McIlroy shot 4-over 76 at the Stadium Course in his second round despite feeling he played no differently than he did last week in earning a P-2 finish in Charlotte.
'I shoot 14 under last week and I feel like I hit it just the same this week, and I'm going home,' McIlroy said.
McDowell pegged the problem as psychological in nature.
'Rory is very much a 'horses for courses' kind of guy,' he said. 'When he gets on a golf course he knows he does well at, like Quail Hollow, then he's awesome.'
McIlroy told McDowell he was intending to take a more disciplined approach to the Stadium Course, putting a 2-iron in the bag for the week and intending to lay back on the par-5 ninth. McDowell did not seem to approve of the decision.
'Rory's such an aggressive player,' he said. 'The par-5s here are for the taking. How are are you going to say no to 240 yards to the front?'
McDowell is confident his friend will figure out Pete Dye's gem, in time.
'It's an acquired taste.'