McIlroy in good company

Rory McIlroy will have some familiar faces close by at this week’s FedEx St Jude Classic as he will play his first two rounds with Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington (McIlroy 11/1 Tournament Outright).

The 23-year-old is looking to arrest a run of three missed cuts in Memphis and will hope to put in a solid performance to boost his confidence with the US Open just around the corner.

The Northern Irishman will be out to defend his title in San Francisco next week but appears to be a million miles away from the form that saw him destroy the field at Congressional 12 months ago to land his first major (McIlroy 12/1 US Open Outright).

But he remains supremely talented with the ability to rip up courses around the world when everything clicks into place, and it would surprise nobody to see the Holywood-born star walk away with the spoils on Sunday.

The Ryder Cup star will be able to feed off his two playing partners on Thursday and Friday, who both hail from the Emerald Isle and have won major trophies themselves in the recent past.

All three men are seeking a confidence boost this week with Harrington down to 96th in the world rankings and McDowell having missed the cut in his last two stroke play events.

But they are three of the best golfers ever to have merged from Ireland and, while trying to go as low as possible themselves, will be spurring each other on to make it to the weekend and challenge for the title at TPC Southwind.

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