‘It sucked’: Rory McIlroy explains fallout from shocking Masters missed cut
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Rory McIlroy suffered yet another major disappointment at last month’s Masters. He then skipped the next event, forfeiting millions of dollars in the process. Now, McIlroy has offered an explanation for the mystifying series of events.
Speaking with reporters Tuesday night ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship, as reported by Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig, McIlroy admitted that missing the RBC Heritage was an “easy decision.”
“I obviously knew the consequences that could come with missing one of those,” McIlroy said, “but I felt like if that fine or whatever is to happen was worth that for me in order to get some things in place.”
For some context, the RBC Heritage was one of 17 designated events on the PGA Tour this year, featuring massive $20 million purses. Qualified players are required to compete in all but one of the designated events. Should they skip more than one, they forfeit part of their Player Impact Program Bonus from last year.
McIlroy skipped the designated Sentry Tournament of Champions in January, so his decision to not play the RBC Heritage the week after the Masters trimmed his bonus down from $12 million to $9 million.
McIlroy also revealed that his disappointing missed cut at the Masters was the catalyst for taking his brief but expensive hiatus.
“It sucked. It sucked,” McIlroy said on Tuesday. “It’s not the performance I obviously thought I was going to put up. Nor was it the performance I wanted. Just incredibly disappointing. But I needed some time to regroup. And focus on what’s ahead.”
But the Masters was just the final act in a whirlwind year for McIlroy that saw him become an unofficial spokesperson for the PGA Tour in its battle with LIV Golf, temporarily reclaim the No. 1 ranking and suffer a heartbreaking loss to Cameron Smith at the Open at St. Andrews — all while raising his young daughter, Poppy.
“I think I needed to put golf in perspective a little more,” he said. “I feel like it’s totally consumed my life for the last 12 months. It’s been a pretty tumultuous time and being in the position that I’m in it’s taken up a lot of my time.”
“I think the last 12 months with everything that’s went on … it’s been a big 12 months. I don’t know I fully, like, sat down to really reflect on stuff. I never really had a chance to think about the Open at St. Andrews and everything that went on there.
“It was nice to have three weeks to just put all that stuff in the rearview mirror and focus on what’s ahead. Three more majors. The entire golf season still to play. It was a good three weeks to sort of do all that and get refreshed and get ready for the next few months.”
McIlroy begins his season anew at the Wells Fargo Championship on Thursday morning at 7:34 a.m. ET.