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SAN DIEGO – Rory McIlroy has enjoyed torrid starts to begin the last few years, which at least partially explains his ambitious schedule to start 2021.
McIlroy is near the beginning of an eight-week stretch that will include seven starts, including last week’s tournament in Abu Dhabi. In that run will be this week’s Farmers Insurance Open, Waste Management Phoenix Open, Genesis Invitational, WGC-Mexico, Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship.
The only event he will skip over the next two months will be the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“I feel like the more I play, the more I’ll get comfortable with my game and know where it is. Yeah, I just thought it was a good opportunity to sort of hit the ground running this week,” he said.
McIlroy started last year with four consecutive top-5 finishes before COVID-19 halted play in March and it was a similar story in 2019 when he didn’t finish outside the top 10 in his first seven starts of the year, including a victory at The Players.
That McIlroy finished last year with his best post-quarantine finish (T-5 at the Masters) was also motivation to get ’21 kickstarted.
“I had a pretty quiet spell there for a few months. I just wanted to get back out and play,” said McIlroy, who has finished inside the top 5 in two starts at Torrey Pines. “I felt like I sort of stopped last year on quite a positive note the way I played at Augusta and I just wanted to try to keep that going into the start of this year.”