Shane Lowry made the biggest noise at TPC Sawgrass, even though Anirban Lahiri leads The Players Championship after the close of play on Sunday.

The Irishman hit a hole-in-one on the notorious par-three island green 17th hole, using a pitching wedge and getting the ball past the pin, before rolling back and dropping in.

The 2019 Open Championship winner came into the third round at one-under par, and bogeyed the par-five 11th before birdieing the 14th and 16th in a chaotic back nine.

After holing from the tee on the 17th, Lowry celebrated wildly with playing partner and Ryder Cup teammate Ian Poulter, proceeding to throw his ball into the crowd.

It was a stark contrast to the norm on the 17th, made even more treacherous with a stiff headwind, with Brooks Keopka and Collin Morikawa among those to put shots into the water.

On another weather-interrupted day, Lahiri leads the pack, managing to finish 11 holes on nine-under par overall as darkness descended on Sawgrass. The world number 322 bogeyed the first hole of the back nine, but steadied to birdie the par-five 11th.

Stormy weather in the Florida region has wreaked havoc on scheduling and bad light eventually stopped play on Sunday. The third round will finish on Monday, with all players at least managing to finish nine holes.

Tom Hoge and Harold Varner III are currently one shot back from Lahiri on eight-under par. Hoge bounced back from a bogey on the sixth, birdieing on the par-five ninth hole to close out his Sunday.

Sebastian Munoz, Paul Casey and Sam Burns are tied at seven-under overall, with Francesco Molinary, Daniel Berger, Camero Smith and Doug Ghim one further stroke back. at six-under overall.

With the second round finishing early on Sunday, Rory McIlroy only just managed to make the cut at two-over par. Driving into the water on the 16th, pars on the final two holes saved him, as two balls into the water from Scott Piercy on the 17th and missed the cut.

Having also just made the cut after 36 holes, FedExCup leader Scottie Scheffler is at one-over par, birdieing the par-five 16th to finish nine holes for the third round.

Defending champion Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson managed to shoot bogey-free rounds on Saturday at The Players Championship, despite heavy winds.

The duo became the 36-hole clubhouse leaders at three under, but Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge remained at the top of the leaderboard.

Fleetwood only played three holes of his second round on Saturday while Hoge did not even start his before bad light suspended the day's action again.

Stormy weather in the Florida region in the past few days lead to many competitors only finishing their openings rounds on Saturday.

Further weather disruption meant play did not start until midday local time, with 47 players finally completing their opening rounds in the first two hours.

Fleetwood remained at six over par after recording a birdie and a bogey in his three holes, level with Hoge and one shot ahead of Joaquin Niemann, Keith Mitchell and Anirban Lahiri, all tied for third at five under.

Thomas, who won last year's event, carded a three-under 69 to move up to joint-15th place after an even par 72 in his first round, while Watson played himself back into contention with the best second-round score so far of 68 to match Thomas overall on three under.

Dustin Johnson shot 73 in his second round to move to two under, tied for 23rd, while last year's runner-up Lee Westwood will miss the cut after a dismal round of 80 saw him nine over after two rounds.

Brooks Koepka had an even worse day, carding 81 to also sit at nine over, while Rory McIlroy was able to finally complete his first round for 73, before going back out and hitting the same score again, including a double-bogey at the seventh, to leave himself two over.

The par-three 17th was proving particularly tricky in the high winds, with 29 balls finding the water on Saturday, while just four had suffered the same fate in the previous two days. McIlroy said afterwards: "Basically, the green's a big massive dartboard, and you're like, just hit it anywhere on there."

Weather permitting, play is due to resume at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday at 8:15am local time.

PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan has joked that Rory McIlroy has been "suspended" following comments he made calling for more transparency from the governing body.

The Northern Irishman said on Tuesday that the PGA Tour needs to be less of a "closed shop", with criticism around transparency on topics such as fines, suspensions and the vote for the player of the year.

McIlroy currently sits as one of four player directors on the Tour's policy board and prompted a sarcastic response from Monahan.

“I would just say, effective immediately, Rory McIlroy is suspended," the commissioner joked.

Monahan added: "Rory is a member of our policy board. He's a player director. That's something that has been raised in the past, and if that's something that a member of our board feels strongly about, rest assured it's a conversation we'll have with our Player Advisory Council and ultimately our board.

"That's the way the system works. It's a criticism that has been lobbied against the PGA Tour through the years, and I think we always have to be open to evolving. That's something that we are open to."

Monahan also revealed that he has not spoken to six-time major winner Phil Mickelson since facing a major backlash and taking time off from the game after comments he made about a proposed Saudi Arabia-backed Super Golf League.

Mickelson claimed the Super Golf League could provide players with "leverage" as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to "reshape how the PGA Tour operates".

Monahan said the ball was in Mickelson's court on whether he returned to the tour, although he declined to confirm if he had been suspended for his comments.

"I have not talked to Phil since he made his comments and since he said that he was stepping away. Like I said, I think the ball is in his court. I would welcome a phone call from him," Monahan said.

"But it's hard for me to talk about the different scenarios that could play out. Listen, he's a player that's won 45 times on the PGA Tour. He's had a Hall of Fame career.

"He's won here at The Players Championship. He's inspired a lot of people and helped grow this Tour, his Tour.

"So as difficult as it is to read some of the things that were said, ultimately a conversation will be had when he's ready to have it, and I will be ready to have it, as well."  

Scottie Scheffler backed up last month's Phoenix Open triumph by taking out the Arnold Palmer Invitational by one stroke after a final round of 72 at Bay Hill on Sunday.

Scheffler carded an even-par round with three birdies and three bogeys to finish five under and one shot ahead of Viktor Hovland, Billy Horschel and Tyrrell Hatton – who stormed 10 places up the leaderboard with a final-day 69 to earn a tie of second.

The 25-year-old Scheffler made his move on the third day, with a five-under 68 launching him into contention. American Scheffler will now move up to fifth on the official world rankings.

Joint overnight leaders Horschel and Talor Gooch lost their grip on top spot, with the former making three bogeys and a double bogey on his final-day front nine before finishing with a three-over 75.

Gooch ended up two further strokes back with a five-over 77 after four bogeys and two double bogeys on his front nine.

Norwegian world number four Hovland loomed as the likely player to capitalise on their misfortune, as he assumed the lead.

But five bogeys in Hovland's closing 11 holes left the door open for Scheffler, who held his nerve, notably making an excellent long putt to save par on the 15th hole.

"It feels great, especially to win on such a difficult golf course and the way it finished," Scheffler told Sky Sports.

"I didn't play my best stuff, I just kept grinding and made some key putts down the stretch, and it was really just a fight all day."

First-round leader Rory McIlroy never threatened on Sunday, with a four-over-76 meaning he finished back at one over after 72 holes.

World number one Jon Rahm was one stroke behind the Northern Irishman after a final-round 74.

Norwegian world number four Viktor Hovland surrendered his lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with two bogeys to finish the third day at Bay Hill on Saturday.

Hovland, who was the leader at halfway, carded a three-over 75 with six bogeys, saving face with a hole-out eagle from the bunker on the sixth and birdie on the eighth.

The Norwegian had retained his lead until bogeys on 17 and 18 allowed American pair Billy Horschel and Talor Gooch to claim a share of the lead.

Horschel and Gooch are seven-under after 54 holes, with Hovland one stroke back, followed by Scottie Scheffler at five-under after he carded a joint round-high four-under-68.

"I was really in a good rhythm until some bad shots on the back nine," Hovland told reporters.

On his hole-out eagle, he added: "That was awesome. Obviously, not the greatest start to the day. Even the pars that I made on the next few holes was really scrappy. Hit some really bad shots.

"Then obviously walking up to the greenside bunker on that hole was hard on the downslope and no green to work it. I thought I was in no man's land, just try to chunk it out there and give myself a putt at it. It came out really soft and landed in the first cut and just died and went in."

Horschel carded a one-under-71 to claim the joint lead, with three bogeys and four birdies, including closing out with an important birdie putt.

Gooch had an even round for 72, bogeying the 18th to settle for a share of the lead after he had birdied both the 15th – with a 33-foot putt - and 16th.

Scheffler surged up 16 spots and into contention with a round that included three birdies and an eagle on his back nine. The American rolled in a 21-footer for eagle on the 16th.

Max Homa, playing alongside Scheffler, landed a rare ace on the 14th hole although he is off the pace with an even card overall in a group featuring top-ranked Jon Rahm.

Gary Woodland is behind Scheffler at four-under, with Rory McIlroy among a group of three at three-under ahead of the final day.

Viktor Hovland holds a two-shot lead at the half-way point of the Arnold Palmer Invitational after Rory McIlroy endured a disappointing finish.

Overnight leader McIlroy was not as sharp as he was on the opening day at Bay Hill but still looked in with a chance of retaining his status as pacesetter for much of the round.

That was until the 15th, when he needed three putts from 30 feet. He then missed a birdie opportunity on 16 and failed to save par from eight feet on 17.

The Northern Irishman ultimately finished at level par for the day with 72 – Hovland, who started on the 10th, carded 66, giving him the round of the day and the lead.

His score would have been even better had he not bogeyed the 13th, however he responded admirably to that set-back with three birdies in his next four holes.

Hovland added two more on the fourth and sixth to ultimately set the clubhouse lead as he moved to nine under for the tournament – McIlroy failed to rise to his challenge.

Joining McIlroy two shots back on seven under in a tie for second are Talor Gooch and Tyrrell Hatton, the latter of whom felt his four-under 68 was "pretty flattering".

Similarly, Hovland is not getting carried away with his position in the standings, particularly considering he was only two shots off the lead heading in the weekend last year and went on to finish 15 off the pace.

"I kind of try to forget the weekend here last year," Hovland told the PGA Tour. "I played really well the first few days, very similar to how I played so far this year.

"The course just gets harder and harder every single day, and it started blowing. A few too many bad swings and I ended up in bad spots and just didn't really take my medicine."

As for McIlroy, the four-time major champion was taken aback by how quickly conditions on the course changed from Thursday, adamant he will be better prepared on day three.

"Those are the sort of greens you expect to see late on a Sunday, not late on a Friday," McIlroy added. "It's going to be interesting to see where they go from here, but it's going to be a good test over the weekend.

"I'm glad I got 18 holes in those conditions because the course definitely changed a lot from when I played it yesterday morning to this afternoon. I'll be a little more prepared for it [on Saturday]."

Billy Horschel is one shot further back on six under, and then there's a three-shot gap to a group of seven – world number one Jon Rahm is at two under.

Patrick Reed, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose were among those to miss the cut, which was set at three over par.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy leads by two strokes after a first-round 65 that included an eagle at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Florida on Thursday.

McIlroy made six birdies and an eagle on the 16th hole to card a seven-under-65 with a bogey on the 11th the only blemish on his scorecard.

The Northern Irishman, who made 11 of 14 fairways, leads by two strokes from American trio Beau Hossler, JJ Spaun and Billy Horschel, with a group of six players one further shot back including Sungjae Im and Will Zalatoris.

“This is my fourth start of the calendar year. I’ve had one really good chance to win and probably one other half chance," McIlroy told reporters after day one.

"I feel like I’m playing well enough to have chances to win golf tournaments, but all you can ask of yourself is to keep putting yourself in those positions on Sundays and then you see where your game really is.

“Hopefully, this is another week where I put myself in a position where I can really see where my game is when the pressure is on.”

McIlroy's day was highlighted by his 41-foot putt for eagle on the par-five 16th hole.

"I played the par-fives particularly well, and that was the bulk of the score," said McIlroy who won at Bay Hill in 2018.

"I've said this all along: You can play within yourself here and still shoot a good score, I feel, if you're just disciplined and pick off the birdies where you're supposed to."

McIlroy is one of four players from the PGA Tour's top six, with world number one Jon Rahm struggling with an even round on the opening day - including falling short on a gimme putt - to be seven shots off the pace.

Viktor Hovland carded a three-under-round of 69, while Scottie Scheffler is two under after the first day.

Rory McIlroy says Phil Mickelson should be forgiven for his comments about a proposed Saudi Arabia-backed Super Golf League and welcomed back following a break.

Mickelson last month apologised for "reckless" remarks over a potential breakaway league.

The six-time major champion claimed the Super Golf League could provide players with "leverage" as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to "reshape how the PGA Tour operates".

Mickelson suggested he and several other golfers paid their lawyers to construct the proposed breakaway competition's agreement, even though he stated Saudi Arabia has "a horrible record on human rights."

The American faced a huge backlash and opted to take time away from playing golf after apologising.

McIlroy declared the Super Golf League "dead in the water" as he accused Mickelson of making "selfish, egotistical, ignorant" remarks.

Yet the Northern Irishman expects the 51-year-old to resume his career and wants the winner of the 2021 PGA Championship to be forgiven.

He said: "I think Phil has been a wonderful ambassador for the game of golf and still is a wonderful ambassador for the game of golf.

"It's unfortunate that a few comments that he thought he was making in confidence or off the record got out there – but this whole situation is unfortunate.

"Look, Phil will be back. I think the players want to see him back. He's done such a wonderful job for the game of golf, and he's represented the game of golf very, very well for the entirety of his career.

"We all make mistakes. We all say things we want to take back. No one is different in that regard. But we should be allowed to make mistakes, and we should be allowed to ask for forgiveness and for people to forgive us and move on.

"Hopefully, he comes back at some stage, and he will, and people will welcome him back and be glad that he is back."

Rory McIlroy declared the Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway Super Golf League "dead in the water" as he accused Phil Mickelson of making "selfish, egotistical, ignorant" remarks.

A number of high-profile players are said to have been targeted by organisers of the lucrative proposal, including Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.

But the most prominent names to have discussed the league publicly – including Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa – had pledged allegiance to the PGA Tour, and Johnson and DeChambeau joined them on Sunday, a significant turn of events.

Mickelson recently gave a remarkable interview to the Fire Pit Collective's Alan Shipnuck, in which the six-time major champion claimed he and several other golfers paid their lawyers to construct the proposed breakaway competition's operating agreement.

As Mickelson put it, the motivation was "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates", claiming Saudi money had provided "leverage" for negotiations.

Mickelson criticised PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, and McIlroy, speaking on Sunday after tying for 10th place at the Genesis Invitational, made clear his disdain for the 51-year-old's comments.

"I don't want to kick someone while he's down obviously, but I thought they were naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant, a lot of words to describe that interaction he had with Shipnuck," McIlroy said.

"It was just very surprising, disappointing, sad, and I'm sure he's sitting at home sort of rethinking his position and where he goes from here."

DeChambeau declared his commitment to the PGA Tour, stating: "While there has been a lot of speculation surrounding my support for another tour, I want to make it very clear that as long as the best players in the world are playing the PGA Tour, so will I."

Johnson also spoke out, saying: "Over the past several months, there has been a great deal of speculation about an alternative tour, much of which seems to have included me and my future in professional golf. I feel it is now time to put such speculation to rest. I am fully committed to the PGA Tour."

Asked if such players supporting the US-based PGA Tour would finish off the Super Golf League venture, McIlroy said: "Yeah, yeah. I mean, who's left? Who's left to go? There's no-one. It's dead in the water in my opinion. I just can't see any reason why anyone would go."

Four-time major winner McIlroy added: "I've always reiterated that I feel like this is the best place to play golf if you're an elite professional golfer."

He praised tour executives and welcomed the comments from DeChambeau and Johnson.

"I was really glad to see DJ and Bryson fill out those statements this week," McIlroy said. "We all want to play against the best players in the world, and they are certainly two of the best players in the world. It's nice to know that they're committed to playing here and committed to making this the best tour in the world."

Joaquin Niemann extended his lead at the Genesis Invitational to three strokes after an eagle on the 10th hole on the third day at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California.

The Chilean, who led after both of the first two days, carded a six-under-round of 68 to be 19-under overall, meaning his 194 across 54 holes is a course record. He leads from Cameron Young who is 16-under.

Young's double bogey on the 16th hole opened up a big gap at the top, with Viktor Hovland moving into third with a six-under-65 but he is six shots behind Niemann at 13-under.

Niemann carded four birdies on the front nine, before the highlight of his day with an eagle on the 10th after an aggressive drive.

The eagle took world number 32 Niemann to 21-under before two bogeys in his final seven holes, although Young was unable to make any major inroads.

Norwegian world number four Hovland was the big mover on Saturday, with five birdies on the front nine, although bogeys on the 14th and 15th slowed his charge.

Former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas is one stroke behind the Norwegian after a one-under-70, while second-ranked Collin Morikawa is a further shot back after his three-under-68 took him to 11-under overall.

Last week's Arizona Open winner Scottie Scheffler also managed a six-under-round to be tied on 10-under alongside Maverick McNealy, Marc Leishman and Max Homa.

Rory McIlroy carded a four-under-67 to be seven-under and tied in a large group that includes three-time major champion Jordan Spieth who struggled with a two-over-73 with three bogeys and one birdie for the day.

Rory McIlroy believes the identity of those rejecting the Super Golf League "has to tell you something", as both he and Jon Rahm remain committed to the PGA Tour.

A number of high-profile players are said to have been targeted by organisers of the lucrative Saudi-backed breakaway, including Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson.

But the most prominent names to have discussed the league publicly – including McIlroy, Rahm and Collin Morikawa – have instead pledged their allegiance to the PGA Tour.

McIlroy referred to the rival series as the "not-so-Super League" on Wednesday, declaring himself "so sick" of the subject.

He added: "You look at the people who have already said no. You've got the top players in the world who are saying no, so that has to tell you something."

World number one Rahm also appears fed up with fielding questions on the Super Golf League but clarified his stance – speaking, like McIlroy, ahead of the Genesis Invitational.

"This is my official one and only time I'll talk about this, where I am officially declaring my fealty to the PGA Tour," Rahm said.

"I'm a PAC [Player Advisory Council] member, and I have a lot of belief in [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay Monahan and the product that they're going to give us in the future.

"There has been a lot of talk and speculation about the Saudi league. It's just not something I believe is the best for me and my future in golf, and I think the best legacy I can accomplish will be with the PGA Tour."

Rory McIlroy wasted a glorious opportunity to win a third Dubai Desert Classic title in a gripping conclusion that saw Viktor Hovland edge Richard Bland in a play-off.

After making steady progress up the leaderboard on Friday and Saturday, McIlroy had a share of the lead alongside Hovland and Bland heading into the final hole on Sunday.

But the four-time major winner, aiming to add to his 2009 and 2015 triumphs in Dubai, sent his approach shot from 267 yards way right on the 18th and it ended in the water.

McIlroy gave himself hope by chipping a shot within 15 feet of the hole to remain on course for par, but his stroke brushed the cup and left him 11-under for the tournament.

That put him a stroke behind Hovland and Bland, who carded a six-under 66 and four-under 68 for the day respectively to finish level and take the competition to an extra hole at the Emirates Golf Club.

Hovland finished strongly with two birdies and an eagle on the final three holes to set the clubhouse lead, which Bland matched with two birdies in a row to conclude his round.

It was Hovland who prevailed in the first play-off hole, the Norwegian rolling in a three-footer for par after Bland's bogey opened the door.

The 24-year-old has now won three of his last five events, having also prevailed at the Hero World Challenge and Mayakoba Golf Classic towards the end of 2021.

Hovland started the day six strokes behind overnight leader Justin Harding, who endured a poor final round, which included a triple-bogey on the 11th to finish in joint-fourth.

"This is pretty wild. I didn't really think this was possible going into today," Hovland said.

"I knew I had to shoot a really low number but a lot of things had to go my way and I am thankful that they did."

Rory McIlroy remains in contention to win the Dubai Desert Classic for a third time after moving to within two shots of leader Justin Harding ahead of the final round.

The four-time major winner shot up the leaderboard into a share of fifth place on Friday, four behind Harding, and halved that deficit with a three-under 69 third round on Saturday.

McIlroy, who previously won the tournament as a 19-year-old in 2009 and again in 2015, initially struggled to make up ground as he found himself just one under after nine holes.

An eagle at the par-five 10th breathed fresh life into the Northern Irishman's round, though he balanced out a couple of birdies with two bogeys in a rather mixed back nine.

But the former world number one is now 10 under for the tournament and hot on the heels of Harding, who added to his opening rounds of 65 and 68 with a one-under 71.

"I think it was a fair reflection of how I played," McIlroy said. "There were a couple of good things and a couple of bad things in there, but I feel like it all evened out by the end.

"It was nice to birdie the last, shoot something in the 60s and play myself into the last group tomorrow.

"I think as well, this late in the day, it starts to get hard to hole putts on the greens because they're a little crusty and got progressively faster as the day went on.

"I started to putt a little more defensively on the back nine. All of that leads to a pretty challenging day."

McIlroy's Ryder Cup team-mate Tommy Fleetwood is a shot further back after recovering from back-to-back bogeys at the fifth and sixth to move to nine under.

Erik van Rooyen also trails Harding by three shots, while Paul Casey, Tyrrell Hatton, Bernd Wiesberger, Richard Bland, Adrian Meronk and Fabrizio Zanotti are four off the pace.

Hatton started round three in second place, but he lacked consistency on Saturday and was made to pay for a double-bogey at the 15th when finding the water.

Shane Lowry enjoyed the lowest-scoring round of the day at the Majlis Course with 68, despite a double-bogey at the ninth, though he is way down in joint-23rd. 

Rory McIlroy predicted he would enjoy the weekend at the Dubai Desert Classic after a 66 on day two moved him firmly into contention.

The former world number one vaulted up the leaderboard into a share of fifth place, following up a steady 71 with a bogey-free round containing four birdies and an eagle.

A two-time winner of this tournament, having been champion as a 19-year-old in 2009 and again in 2015, McIlroy has happy memories and there could be more cause to celebrate come Sunday.

He moved to seven under par through 36 holes, putting him just four shots behind the leader, Justin Harding of South Africa, who added a 68 to his opening 65.

England's Tyrrell Hatton sits second on nine under after matching McIlroy's score. Nobody beat 66 in the second round, with Germany's Nicolai von Dellingshausen also making the same score, in his case atoning for an opening 77 to reach a share of 38th place.

South African Erik van Rooyen and Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti share second on eight under par, with McIlroy one shot back in a group that also includes England's Richard Bland, Norway's Viktor Hovland, Adrian Meronk of Poland, and the first-round leader Joachim B Hansen, who had four bogeys and four birdies in a level-par 72. Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood and Paul Casey were all on six under.

McIlroy chipped in for eagle at 13, while leader Harding, who began on the back nine, holed from 183 yards at the par-four sixth.

There was satisfaction but also frustration for McIlroy after his round, as he said: "It could have been way lower. I certainly hit the ball good enough for it to be a few shots lower. I hit the ball as good as I've done in a long time, and it could have been a few better, but 66 is a good score and sets me up for a nice weekend."

McIlroy said he had been making technical alterations to his swing on the range, and added: "I thought I hit my irons a lot better today and was in control of the driver a bit better too."

To his frustration, McIlroy has not won a major since reaching four big ones in 2014, but he had two victories on the PGA Tour last year and was firmly in the hunt for the DP World Tour Championship in November until a closing 74 scuppered his chances.

The Northern Irishman tied for 12th last week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, enjoying a strong weekend after only just making the cut. This time he is in a better position from which to strike, and he likes his game at the moment.

"I think with how I ended last year, I certainly found something. I got a little bit of momentum, I won on the PGA Tour and had a really good chance to win here in Dubai at the end of last season," McIlroy said speaking to the DP World Tour website.

"But it feels good. There are so many ebbs and flows in this game and the career's so long that it's hard to compare one season to the next, and how you're feeling and how you're hitting it. But looking back on my last 12 or 14 years, the body of work is there.

"I've played well when I haven't felt so good and I've played poorly when I've felt really good. So it's just a matter of keep showing up each and every day and try your best and try to put the lowest score possible on the scorecard and move on."

Rory McIlroy believes playing patient golf will be the trick to succeeding once more in a major.

The former world number one is a four-time major winner, but the last of those victories came in 2014 at the PGA Championship.

McIlroy has enjoyed plenty of success since then, winning such as the Tour Championship twice, the Wells Fargo Championship twice, the DP World Tour Championship and the Players Championship.

While a fifth major success has eluded him, the 32-year-old is confident his chance will come again if he remains in the right mindset.

"I haven't won a major in the last seven years but I've basically won everything else," he told BBC Sport.

"I've won the Players Championship, I've won FedEx Cups, I've won Race to Dubai, I've won World Golf Championships, I've won national opens. You know, I've done a lot in the past seven years.

"That hasn't included a major championship but I've played good enough golf in those seven years to win one and I'm staying as patient as I possibly can and, as I say, just giving myself chances.

"I don't think there's anything I should or could do differently. I think the one thing that's held me back, especially in the majors over the last few years, is just getting off to slow starts.

"Opening up at Augusta with a 72 or a 71 and not shooting that 67 or 68 that puts you right in the thick of the tournament from the very start.

"I can't go into the first round of a tournament or on a Wednesday night under pressure to try and shoot a good score. I just have to go out there and let it happen.

"Historically when I've got myself up there early in a tournament I've been able to stay there and capitalise on that start."

McIlroy also believes the depth of quality rivals he faces has made the challenge of winning another major even greater.

"I think I haven't given myself enough chances," said the world number eight.

"I think if I'd have had more chances and realistic chances, just putting yourself in those positions, the more comfortable you are going to feel up there. 

"If you keep knocking on the door, one of those doors is going to open for you.

"I had a chance at Carnoustie in 2018, played the final group with Patrick Reed in 2018 at Augusta, tied for the lead with nine holes to go at the US Open last year at Torrey Pines.

"I've had a few chances and just haven't capitalised. I think players are getting better and better.

"When I last won back in 2014 I'd never heard of [Open champion] Collin Morikawa, I'd never heard of [world number one] Jon Rahm.

"A lot of these guys coming through are playing unbelievably good golf. I don't just have to beat five guys."

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