Rory McIlroy isn’t as sharp as he was earlier in 2020. We know him well enough by now that it doesn’t take long for him to get it going back in the right direction.
Coming to The Northern Trust could be just the ticket. McIlroy is a two-time winner in the FedEx Cup Playoffs at TPC Boston, claiming trophies by one shot in 2012 (65-65-67-67) and by two in 2016 (71-67-66-65).
The Northern Irishman has made seven of eight cuts in Norton. Those also include a T-5 in 2014 (70-69-64-70) and T-12 (71-67-66-70) in 2018.
“You’re going to have to drive the ball in the fairway, and you’re going to have to bring in some iron shots pretty high to stop them on these greens,” McIlroy was quoted by ASAP Sports in 2014. “It looks like it will set up well for me, if I play my game.”
McIlroy has a good record at another Arnold Palmer course, Bay Hill. Parkland style golf courses tend to reward a strong aerial game like McIlroy’s.
31-year-old ranks fourth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained off the tee (.807 per round) and is 19th in SG approach (.539).
He’s outside the top 100 in SG putting and fairway accuracy. I like his ability to mitigate these weaknesses thanks to generous fairways and fast, familiar bentgrass greens that he likes.
Rory hasn’t recorded a top-10 since the PGA Tour resumed in June, but he’s at least making money each time out. A T-11th at the Travelers Championship leads six made cuts, all of which were top-50s.
McIlroy’s the reigning FedEx Cup champion. He doesn’t have the same cushion to work with like last year, so I expect him to be hungry to get his game right and make a move toward another $10 million in the bank account.