SAN DIEGO – For the second time in a month, Rory McIlroy is playing a PGA Tour event for the first time. And for the second time in January, he’s having to learn a new golf course on the fly.
“I feel like I've watched this tournament a lot on TV,” said McIlroy, who also made his first start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month. “It's funny, you get a sort of perception of a golf course from TV, but then you play it, and it does play very different than I thought it was going to play.”
McIlroy played 10 holes on the South Course on Monday, 18 holes on the North Course on Tuesday and the pro-am on the South on Wednesday.
“I like coming to new golf courses, the process of learning them, what you're hitting off tees, good angles coming into the greens, what side to miss on, all that stuff,” he said. “It's been a pretty productive three days, and I'm ready to get going tomorrow.”
McIlroy’s decision to add to his schedule this year is partially based on his decision to focus more on playing in the United States and partially based on the Tour’s newly condensed schedule.
“I was in between playing here and Phoenix next week. I knew I was going to play Hawaii and L.A., and honestly, I just didn't want to be at home for five weeks,” McIlroy said. “I've always liked the look of this event; it's such a strong field.”