The intense political climate on the PGA Tour is starting to weigh on Rory McIlroy. That’s a short explanation for the world No. 3’s poor showing at The Players Championship.
McIlroy didn’t look like himself over two rounds and two-plus days at TPC Sawgrass, delivering what he called a “blah” effort in the tour’s main event. After a one-over 73 on a sunny but chilly Saturday morning that ended with a slap bogey on the 18th hole, the Northern Ireland-born speaker shot a $25 million total of 5-over 149, the third-worst 36-hole performance in 13 starts at the Stadium Course.
“Yes, only very much. Yes, I guess the course, you just have to be here to play well,” said the 2019 champion. “If you’re small, it accentuates where you’re missing. It’s a bit of a mystery. Some years I come here, and it feels easier than others. It’s a tricky golf course, and you don’t hit fairways and you’ve got your work cut out for you.
Sporting a new haircut – not good – and bleary-eyed, McIlroy missed the cut here for the sixth time, and although he could talk about being hampered by the misbehaving driver he replaced at the Genesis Invitational a few weeks ago, the proof that his fine motor skills had gone wrong came on and around the green. He lost 4.268 strokes around the green (ranked 141st in the 144-man field) and lost just over three strokes.
The penalty imposed on him over the past eight months or so has been determined at his own discretion and some of the top player directors on the PGA Tour’s policy board – he was warned when asked if he was getting it. . He has become the face of the tourist faithful, not always easy and not always well received. He is leading the counterattack against the Rebel LIV Golf League.
“Yeah, that’s right,” McIlroy said. “I would love to get back into golf. Look, it’s been a busy couple of weeks, and really… it’s been a busy six or eight months. But as I said earlier in the week, everything is now known, and the wheels are set in motion, so it should obviously be quiet from here.
Introduced by Commissioner Jay Monahan on Tuesday, He is referring to the initiative for the tour’s new schedule, which will begin in 2024. It remains to address the list and which four events will be tied in the selected competitions, but the hardest part, he is behind.
“It’s just time management. The golf out here is good, but it’s just the time at home to make sure you’re ready, to make sure you’re doing everything you can to prepare once these weeks show up,” McIlroy said. He reached the players after finishing T-2 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. “That’s where I sacrificed a little bit of time with some of these things. Like I said, I’m ready to get back to being a golfer.”
His next start comes in two weeks at the final WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, which he skipped last year to play the Valero Texas Open before the Masters. He missed the cut at Valero, finishing T-2 at Augusta National Golf Club with a final-round 64.
The matchup in Austin, Texas will be the fourth start of the year. All were in the tour’s top big-bag events. If he’s a little tired, he’s not overly golfy.