Wayne ‘Radar’ Riley on the Players Championship move to March and Rory McIlroy’s winless run


Wayne Riley welcomes the decision to move The Players Championship back to March and has no worries about Rory McIlroy and his recent difficulties in sealing victory from promising positions…

A lot of people are happy The Players has come from May to March. The last time it was played in March was in 2006 and a lot of people are happy because this course was built for a March Championship.

To have it now is traditionally where they wanted it and they’ve got it back. This is when the course is at its toughest. It isn’t as warm, the ball doesn’t fly as far and it’s softer, so I’m so interested in seeing how they play. It won’t be 18-under like it has been in recent years.

It’s paramount to hit the fairways and they will be easier to hit because the ball doesn’t run into the rough so much. Whether we see mud balls, I’m not so sure, but the golf course is absolutely perfect.

It takes an all-round game to win around here and it will be someone like a Sergio or Tommy Fleetwood – that’s the sort of game that will prevail.

You can’t prevail with one thing – be a good driver and an ordinary iron player – you have to have an all-round game. It suits every kind of player. Jason Day has won around here. He’s a huge hitter of the golf ball as is Tiger back in the day, but you also look at Fred Funk, who has won around here and is a short hitter. Webb Simpson, the defending champion, he’s not overly long.

So it’s a matter of keeping the ball in play and you’ve got to do everything well. You can’t do one thing well, you will get found out, especially with those last three holes.

On golf’s fifth major

I’m not keen on what they do on the Champions Tour and the Ladies Tour. I think they have too many majors. We have four and that’s fantastic. We have the WGCs and the Players too and they all stand alone.

If you win the Players Championship, you haven’t won a major, and I’m very happy to have four majors. I don’t think it should be the fifth major at all. We have enough majors, and they are all very good and they are old and it should stay that way.

On Rory McIlroy’s winless run

He’s had seven or eight leads on Sunday in the last 12 months and he can’t get it over the line. Obviously there’s a lot of pressure on him to get it done.

Look, he’s very happy with the way he’s playing. Sixth last week, he’s had top fives the previous four, so he’s there or thereabouts so no one should worry about Rory McIlroy.

He’s down to his last £200m, he’s got four majors, and once he gets going the floodgates will open.

It’s alright to be a Rory McIlroy, it’s alright to be a streaky player because once he gets on that run we all know what he can do and no one can live with him.

There’s only one player that I think can live with him these days, if they’re both going head-to-head and really playing well, and that’s Dustin Johnson. When we see that, I’m not so sure, but we look forward to seeing it.

(c) Sky News 2019: Wayne ‘Radar’ Riley on the Players Championship move to March and Rory McIlroy’s winless run

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