The world of golf fans have been left stunned by the recent events of the Players Championship 2021. Despite being one of the favorites to win the tournament, Rory McIlroy is on track to miss the cut. This came as a surprise to many, as Rory was ranked as the world number 11 in the Official World Golf Ranking coming into the tournament.
The Players Championship is one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world, featuring the world’s best golfers competing for the huge prize money of $15M. Held annually, it usually takes place in May, but due to COVID-19, in 2020, the Championship was canceled after one round of play. This year, golf’s biggest stars took to the TPC Sawgrass course, but the severe weather conditions it was battered with made the tournament a particularly challenging one.
Rory has been far from his usually dependable self in the first two rounds. His drive on the first tee sent his ball deep into the left rough, and he had to play sideways back into the fairway. A bogey to start the day set the tone for the 31-year-old Northern Irishman. He then followed it up with a bogey on the 5th hole, missing a six-foot putt. The sixth hole seemed to be the last straw for Rory’s possible cut, as he had a double bogey, putting him at a tied 124th position with a score of +6 at the end of the first round – he stood with little chance of making the cut from there.
Rory failed to redeem himself in the second round, which he started with a bogey, a double bogey, and another bogey, an early indication that it wasn’t his day. Despite a birdie on the 13th hole the damage was already done, and he eventually finished the second round with a 4-over-par score of 76, leaving him at 8-over for the tournament.
Speaking after his second round, Rory admitted his struggles in the tournament, “It’s frustrating because I’ve practiced and I’ve played so well, and then you get out on the course and you’re not able to do it when it matters. So, it’s tough at the minute.” He still has hope of making the cut, though, and is looking to rebound in the third round to stay in the championship. “I’ll have to shoot a really good score tomorrow to have any chance. But, yeah, I’m going to stay here and squeeze everything out of the course that I can over the next two days and see where that leaves me.”
McIlroy has won this championship once in his career, in 2019, and was looking to repeat the feat. However, it has been a rough year for him so far, with his last win coming in 2019 at the WGC-HSBC Champions. He has been struggling with his form, with his best finish this year being a tie for sixth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The weather conditions at the TPC Sawgrass have played a significant role in the outcome of the tournament. For the first time in the tournament’s history, it faced a weather delay for both rounds. The weather grew so severe that even the practice facilities were closed on Tuesday, and the organizers were forced to call an early end to Thursday’s opening round after just a few hours of play. The storms continued to threaten the event, and the second round had to be suspended for more than an hour due to a weather warning. With the unpredictability of the weather, and the challenging course, the tournament has been one of the most difficult ones in recent years.
In conclusion, Rory McIlroy’s struggles in the Players Championship 2021 came as a surprise to many golf enthusiasts, as he was one of the favorites to win the tournament. The weather conditions and the challenging course played a key role in his exit from the tournament, and he now faces a daunting task of trying to make the cut. However, golf is a game of surprises, and anything can happen on the course. McIlroy is standing strong and hoping to bounce back, and who knows, he could surprise us all with a comeback. It is a great reminder of how unpredictable the game of golf is and how fortunes can fluctuate over the space of 18 holes.