PGA Tour players have urged for the Rory McIlroy issue to be addressed by commissioner Jay Monahan
Sympathy is in scant supply for Rory McIlroy losing $3m of his Player Impact Program (PIP) money for missing the RBC Heritage this week, with the message from his fellow PGA Tour players being “he knew what the rules were”.
After making the cut at The Masters, McIlroy dropped out of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links this week, which is the second designated tournament he’s missed the season having previously skipped the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Under present regulations, players are only permitted to skip one elevated tournament, and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is expected to deduct McIlroy $3m – a quarter of the $12 PIP money he earned in 2022 – as a consequence.
The irony of McIlroy of all people becoming the first player to breach the regulations that he himself helped put up has not been missed on his fellow PGA Tour players.
“Rules are the rules,” Xander Schauffele was reported as saying in Sports Illustrated.(opens in new tab) “So, I mean, for the most part, a lot of what he wanted is what’s happening. And the irony is that he’s not here.”
That feeling was shared by Joel Dahmen, who said: “I feel like Rory was leading the charge on the changes that have been made and he helped make the rules.
“He knew what the rules were. So, he knew what was coming. He also has so much money, he doesn’t care about $3 million.”
Justin Thomas disagreed with Dahmen’s joking assertion that McIlroy did not care about the amount of money he’d be missing out on, but was another player to indicate the Northern Irishman understood what would happen if he missed the tournament.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, that’s a ton of money,” remarked Thomas. “All of us knew going into the year what the situation was and what we had to do to get extra X or Y and for him Y is a lot in this situation, finishing second (In the PIP rankings).
“So, it wasn’t a surprise to him or any of us it just was kind of where he ended up in the rankings and not playing this week is I guess a consequence.”
The PGA Tour seldom talks on disciplinary proceedings, but Scottie Scheffler is one of the players who would want to hear some specific news on the situation.
“It’s a lot of money. It’s a major thing. A lot of folks want to know what’s going on,” Scheffler said.
The world number two thinks Monahan would notify the players if he had opted to impose a punishment or pardon McIlroy due to mitigating circumstances, adding: “I imagined he’d communicate to the membership”.
And communication was another significant subject in general among the PGA Tour professionals in South Carolina, with Rickie Fowler advocating for openness between the players and commissioner.
“I think that’s a big thing that’s been talked about for the last year, is having more transparency and just good communication between players the tour,” Fowler said.
“I think that includes you (the media) as well. And ultimately, the more openness and the more everyone’s on the same page, the better.”