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Rory McIlroy will return to a PGA Tour venue he hasn't played in five years

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Mike Ehrmann

Rory McIlroy has committed to the Cognizant Classic, formerly known as the Honda Classic, an event the Northern Irishman won in 2012.

At the time that was just the third win of McIlroy's PGA Tour career, and he won in style, defeating a charging Tiger Woods (who shot 62 in the final round) and Tom Gillis by two strokes. McIlroy skipped the event in 2013 but returned in 2014 and finished T-2, providing the highlight of the week with a remarkable 5-wood approach into the 72nd green but losing in a four-man playoff to Russell Henley. 

Despite being a resident of Jupiter, Fla., and having plenty of success at PGA National, the four-time major winner has made just three appearances in the event since, with two missed cuts and a 59th-place finish. He last played the Jack Nicklaus-designed brute in 2018. 

Earlier this month, McIlroy said he planned to play "more" before the Masters in April in the hopes of coming in sharp. Normally, the season's first major would be his sixth or seventh event of the year. In 2024, McIlroy wants it to be his ninth or 10th. Adding the Cognizant Classic to his schedule helps him get one step closer to that goal. With signature events like the Genesis Invitational, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship already locked in, that leaves room for one or two more schedule additions for McIlroy before Augusta National. 

Likely helping McIlroy's decision to add the Cognizant Classic was the fact he'll be in the area that week anyway. On Monday of Cognizant week, McIlroy will play in The Match at The Park in West Palm Beach, a made-for-TV skins game where he'll face off with Max Homa, Lexi Thompson and Rose Zhang. 

The McIlroy news comes just days after another star, Rickie Fowler, committed to the event. Fowler is also a former winner of the event, as well as a Jupiter resident. This will mark his 14th appearance in the tournament, his last coming in 2022.