Rory McIlroy is once again strong and very healthy.
There’s no doubt about that.
Rory started his 2018 season on the European Tour a few weeks ago in Abu Dhabi. He shot 18-under par and finished third behind Tommy Fleetwood and Ross Fisher.
Two weeks ago he had a great chance to win in Dubai. He looked strong all week, shot 22-under par and was shot short of Chinese sensation Haotong Li.
McIlroy’s drives have been explosive, his iron game sound and his short game good enough to put him in the hunt in the two events he’s played.
He comes to Pebble Beach this week to make his season debut on the PGA tour at the AT&T Pro-Am.
He’ll have plenty of quality competition to measure himself.
World’s No. 1 Dustin Johnson has two wins at Pebble and four top fives. He has a huge comfort level on the track and plays with future father-in-law Wayne Gretzky.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth has been out of sorts but has shown a propensity to perform at Pebble. Spieth shot rounds of 68-65-65-70 last year, posted 19-under par and beat Dustin Johnson by five shots and Jason Day by seven.
World’s No. 2 Jon Rahm has to prove he can play better on the weekends. He was in solid contention to defend at the Farmers but imploded over the final 36 then had a repeat performance of that pattern last week at the Phoenix Open.
Day is back in action after winning the Farmers in a playoff with Alex Noren that required a Monday finish. The win moved Day back into the Top 10 and he’s 10th.
McIlroy’s Middle East performances have pushed him up to No. 8 and he’s trending upward.
He’s hitting those monster drives and they’ll come in handy this week as he looks get back into the winner’s circle for the first time since 2016.