Rory McIlroy Says European Tour Courses Are Too Easy
Rory McIlroy launched a blistering attack on the standards and difficulty of courses used on the European Tour after shooting a final round of 67 to finish in a tie for 26th place at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The Northern Irishman and his father Gerry finished second in the pro-am, so you might have thought it all amounted to a pretty decent week.
Not a bit of it. “I am honestly sick of coming back over to the European Tour and shooting 15 under par and finishing 30th. I don’t think the courses are set up hard enough. There’s no penalties for bad shots. It’s tough when you come back here when it’s like that. I don’t feel like good golf is regarded as well as it could be.”
The Dunhill is played at St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie and it is true that the tour does not set the courses up to be as tough as they might otherwise be. But that is because there are so many amateurs in the field and if Carnoustie was to bare its teeth as it can during The Open Championship then it might take six hours-plus to complete 18 holes.
But McIroy believes this is a wider problem. Asked if he planned to air his concerns to the European Tour, he said: “It happened at the Scottish Open as well at Renaissance. I finished 13 under par and was tied for 34th place. It’s not a good test. I think if the European Tour want to put on a really good product, the golf courses and set-ups need to be tougher.”
McIlroy may well have a point, but he ignores the fact that his three victories on the PGA Tour this year saw him reach a cumulative 56 under par. The normal winning score at the Dunhill is around 20 under par. This year’s winner, Victor Perez, finished on 22 under par.
Will McIlroy and his father be back? “I am not sure. If he wants to then I will but I don’t have any real ambition to play here again. I am happy enough with what we’ve done. But yeah, look, we’ll see. If that’s what he wants I am sure I can make it happen.”
McIlroy and his father took part to celebrate Gerry’s 60th birthday and they actually finished tied with Tommy Fleetwood and Ogden Phipps, but lost out because Fleewtood finished with a lower individual score than McIlroy.
Rory later clarified his comments on Instagram, noting that he was venting, but his thoughts were coming from the right place.
You will remember that the Northern Irishman caused something of a rumpus when he announced that he was going to be playing the bulk of his golf on the PGA Tour because he believed it gave him a better chance of winning majors. Although he picked up three titles in 2019, his performance in the four majors was pretty disappointing. But, by the sounds of it, he has no plans to change things anytime soon. But his opinion does matter, so watch this space...
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