McIlroy desperate for revival
After cutting short his 2017 season to recover and recuperate from a series of injuries, Rory McIlroy is desperate to return healthy in 2018 and end his three-year search for a career Grand Slam.
Speaking at St Andrews in early October, after shooting 72 in his final 18 of the year, he said: "That round summed up my 2017. Not much happening, good or bad. Just stuck in neutral. It hasn't been the year I wanted.
"There's a lot of areas of my game that need sharpening. Wedge play and putting would be the two main areas. I'm going to rehab until my body is ready to practice, then start 2018 strongly.
"I want to make sure I leave no stone unturned and do everything I can to get back to being the best player in the world."
It is a bold aim, but one he will feel he can achieve. The fact he (and the world) deem him to be in a major slump is proof of how good he is - he has six top-ten finishes in the 11 starts since his last win (the 2014 PGA Championship) - and only a very fine player deems that a poor return.
Having finished in the top ten in each of his last four starts at the Masters he will be keen to hit Augusta National running. He is 10.00 to claim a first green jacket and complete that much-coveted career grand slam.
In July he will return to Carnoustie for The Open, scene of his first appearance in that event when he won the Silver Medal for Low Amateur in 2008, and a course he has played many times in seven Dunhill Links Championship starts. He is 12.00 to claim Open glory.
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