Hartford - Rory McIlroy will be making just his third start
since the Masters as the Northern Irishman tries to kick start his game this
week at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship.
Less than a week after the finish of the 2017 US Open a
star-studded field will tee it up at the TPC River Highlands course, 16
kilometres south of Hartford, Connecticut.
The world number three has dropped to 69th in the FedEx Cup
standings, with poor form and a nagging rib injury which has limited him to
just seven starts. He also got married to PGA of America employee Erica Stoll.
"I always felt 2017 was going to be a bit of a
transitional year," said McIlroy, who missed the cut at the US Open.
"With, obviously, Nike going out of the golf equipment business and
getting married, moving and changing residences, and all that sort of stuff. I
didn't factor an injury into that as well."
This is McIlroy's first appearance at the $6.8 million
Travelers. He said the course suits him and he is confident he can contend,
beginning on Thursday when he tees off with Jim Furyk and Brian Harman.
"The golf course is great - I can see why Jim Furyk hit
58 last year and why guys can go low," McIlroy said. "If you're on
with your scoring clubs, it gives you a lot of opportunities."
As well as McIlroy the event boasts Jordan Spieth and Jason
Day, who played here in 2008 and 2014, when he posted his best finish, a tie
All three are trying to get their best form back ahead of
the British Open, PGA Championship and the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Spieth has recently been struggling with his putter but
unlike Day and McIlroy he made the cut at the US Open before finishing in a tie
"I've been working on the putting, trying to develop a
feel that I can use consistently and kind of not have to think about the stroke
and setup and instead focus on the line and speed," said Spieth who won
the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and has six top 10 finishes this year.
Former world No 1 Day is coming off a back injury at the end
of last season and needs some solid performances to get the second half of his
2017 season going. Day, of Australia, has also had to deal with his mother
being diagnosed with lung cancer.
"I am about a month behind my workload," he said.