Rory McIlroy admits he needs ‘a spark’ as he battles to return to winning ways.
McIlroy secured another top-10 finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday night but his wait for a first tournament victory since November 2019 continues.
McIlroy impressed in patches at Bay Hill but his hard work was undone when he twice found water at the par-five sixth on his way to a double-bogey. He had five bogeys and three birdies in a four-over 76 that left him trailing eight shots behind the winner Bryson DeChambeau.
The Northern Irishman is the defending champion at this week’s The Players Championship and he is desperate to rediscover the winning formula.
"There was some good parts this week again," McIlroy told Sky Sports.
"Some stuff that I don't know how to describe it, but just a little dejected or maybe looking to go in a different direction.
"I don't know. I need something, I need a spark, I need something and I just don't seem to have it. Some days it's good, some days it's not.
"So I'll get up there [Sawgrass] tomorrow, get some practice in and get ready for next week."
The Players Championship was abandoned last year after one round due to the coronavirus pandemic and McIlroy is pleased to be playing in front of a crowd, albeit with a reduced capacity, once again in Florida.
He added: "I'm really happy that we played this week in this sort of atmosphere and this environment.
"I've missed this a lot. Even though it's only, whatever, 25 per cent capacity this week, it feels so much more than that and it's great to play in front of that. I'm looking forward to doing it again next week.
"I think we're all sort of now seeing a light at the end of the tunnel where things can at least get back to some sort of normality pretty soon. But I can't believe it's been a year.
"It's going to be surreal looking back in 20 years' time and sort of seeing what we lived through. But I'm just looking forward to things going back to normal."