As well as winning four majors, McIlroy has claimed two World Golf Championship events and four FedEx Cup play-off tournaments, with his victory in the 2016 Tour Championship giving him the overall title.

The 29-year-old's first attempts to win the so-called 'fifth major' at TPC Sawgrass resulted in three straight missed cuts. But since then the Northern Irishman has finished eighth, sixth, eighth and 12th before a tie for 35th last year.

"This is my ninth time here so I'm not a spring chicken anymore,” McIlroy said.

β€œIt took me a few years to figure it out but I've had a few top 10s here and I think it is about time that I step up and give myself a chance on Sunday. I would love to add this event to my CV.”

McIlroy endured just the second winless season of his career in 2017 and although victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational ensured that would not happen again this year, the World No.8 failed to complete the career grand slam at the Masters last month.

After closing to within a shot of the leader Patrick Reed early in the final round, McIlroy struggled to a closing 74 at Augusta National, but is refusing to be downbeat about the outcome.

McIlroy plays a shot from the 17th tee during a practice round prior to the 2018 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. PHOTO: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.

"We've got the other three major championships, there's a lot of golf to play and we're not even halfway through the season," McIlroy added.

"It was disappointing I didn't get the result I wanted but I took a lot of positives from the fact that I didn't have my best stuff at Augusta and I was still able to play my way into the final group and contend.

"All I wanted to do this year was give myself chances. It wasn't about results. If I can put myself in the final group of some other events coming up I'll have some recent experience (to learn from) and I'll deal with it a bit better."

Englishman Paul Casey has withdrawn from the Players Championship due to a back injury, the PGA Tour announced on Wednesday.

World No.12 Casey has been in excellent form this year.

The 40-year-old won the Valspar Championship in Florida in March, holding off Tiger Woods and Masters champion Patrick Reed by one stroke.

He tied for fifth last Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte.