McIlroy finished tied-fourth in last year's event and returns to Bay Hill looking to bounce back from last week's missed cut on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook.
When it comes to Tiger Woods and his comfort zone at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, a remarkable sense of symmetry surrounds his total of eight victories. None more so than last time I won here (in 2013).
The 42-year-old has, after all, been nearly back to his brilliant best at times in his last two events, finishing 12th in the Honda Classic then ending up just a shot behind victor Paul Casey in the Valspar Championship, also in Florida, last weekend.
Sergio García has welcomed the return of Tiger Woods to competitive action, but suggested that the 14-times major victor could be affected by nerves when he goes back to Augusta next month after a three-year gap.
Half of the world's top 30 feature Bay Hill, where world No 5 Justin Rose is the highest-ranked player in action and former victor Jason Day is also involved.
"Just keep getting better", Woods replied when asked about his expectations during a pre-tournament press conference at Bay Hill.More news: Oil rises on strong China data, but rising United States output caps gains
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He's proven himself to be physically fit to handle the grind.
"I'm sure he's excited to come back to Augusta, and it's a place where he's done well, so I would expect him to do fairly well".
"Each and every week I've learned from what I've done and more importantly I'm learning my body", he continued.
"Just a couple of things with my set-up and I was just trying to get my posture organised a little bit more ... little things (that) just make for better passes through the golf ball". "I'm learning how I can swing it and not swing it". The fact is, no matter what you think of Tiger (his personal life has been a roller coaster ever since that fateful day a golf club reportedly met the back windshield of his car), he's good for golf, even if he never returns to the dominance that once propelled him to the top of this sport.
"But still, I have to say just to enjoy all of this, because at one point that wasn't even a thought".
"As great of a champion as he is and was, I think it's fair to assume that those are obstacles that no human being might be able to overcome". He last made the cut in 2008. Now he's the odds-on favorite to win Arnold Palmer's tournament this week at Bay Hill, where he has won eight times. "I've still got to do the work".