Mark Roe reflects on Rory McIlroy’s early exit at TPC Sawgrass

Mark Roe discusses Rory McIlroy’s early exit from the Players Championship and looks back at an impressive start to the week from Webb Simpson.

It’s always frustrating to see someone with so much talent like Rory missing the cut. He never seems to be far away from great play and also never far away from the putter going cold, like it did today.

You never know with Rory when he’s going to flip the switch, he has that much talent. He’s a sublime driver of the ball, but it’s always a constant battle when finding consistency with the putter.

You can’t be a poor putter and win four majors and you can’t be a poor putter and reach McIlroy’s success, but it’s the inconsistency that really blights his game at times.

I saw an interesting stat about players who bounce back from a bogey by making a birdie at their next hole. The bounce-back stats from McIlroy over the past five years are incredibly poor compared to his contemporaries.

When he’s on-song he is still, for me, he is just that little bit better than the rest. He is one of the most naturally gifted players to have ever played the game, so never say Rory isn’t playing well because he can just come out and shock you by winning the next week.

Simpson stars

That was a hugely impressive round and putting display, but in the end it was tinged with a massive amount of disappointment after dunking in the water at 17 and making double bogey.

Sawgrass survives in a way, as his second shot at the last wasn’t really viable to leave a putt to break the course record of 63. He’s five-shots clear but there’s no lead big enough at TPC Sawgrass.

It’s such a dangerous golf course and you don’t want to get defensive, but you’ve got to really your way around here. There will be a bit of scar tissue from what happened at 17 and he won’t feel comfortable playing on that tee over the weekend, no matter how big the lead is!

He was seven shots clear at one point, so he has given hope to the chasing pack with that finish.

Watch the Players Championship throughout the weekend on Sky Sports The Players. Live coverage continues with Featured Groups on Saturday from 1.30pm.