Rory McIlroy won the PGA Players Championship (whose total prize pool amounts to 12.5 million dollars), which was finalized at TPC Sawgrass in Florida on Sunday. "I think all those experiences I had starting the year helped,” said the 29-year-old from Northern Ireland. “I hoped that if I just stayed patient enough and waited my turn things would work out and I'm glad they have."
Having finished the tournament one clear of U.S. veteran Jim Furyk on 16 under, McIlroy is aiming for his first Masters win next month, and if he does win the Masters Tournament this time, his speech won’t be very different from the one above except for a few words. While the Northern Irish made the top 10 for five consecutive years at the Masters Tournaments starting with the eighth in 2014, McIlroy has never won the trophy at the one of the most sought-after PGA tours yet.
Before the win on Sunday, McIlroy came close to the championship but fell short of it each time over the recent five tournaments. At the WGC Mexico Championship, he finished the race in second place, ranking himself at the fourth twice, and in the fifth and sixth once for each. A disheartening reputation tagged along about his lack of impact in the homestretch.
Indeed, the 2019 Players Championship helped him recover his self-confidence, a much more valuable gift than the winning prize of 2.25 million dollars. It boosted his chance of achieving a career grand slam at the upcoming Masters Tournament. Once he lifts the Masters trophy, McIlroy, who has achieved a total 15 wins on PGA tours and four majors championship titles (The Open, U.S. Open, twice at PGA Championship), will become the seventh golfer to secure the legendary title of “career grand slammer,” following Bobby Jones (1930), Gene Sarazen (1935), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1965), Jack Nicklaus (1966), and Tiger Woods (2000).
“It's very nice to get a win, especially doing it on this golf course, honestly a golf course that played a little bit similar to the way Augusta will play in a few weeks' time,” McIlroy said. “I am playing some of the best golf of my life right now, and I just need to keep going with it.” He has made no bones about his ambition to wear the green jacket.