Rory McIlroy shot 67 to close the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, yet his 15-under total failed to crack the top 20.
And he wasn’t happy about it.
McIlroy shot 70-66-70-67 and finished seven back of winner Victor Perez, and the recent FedEx Cup champ wasn’t thrilled with his tie for 26th — or the European Tour’s course setup.
McIlroy was asked, “What did you take from these four days?” in his press conference on Sunday evening, and he didn’t hold back.
“You know, I’m sort of honestly sick of coming back over to the European Tour and shooting 15 under par and finishing [T26],” he said. “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 when it’s like that. I don’t feel like good golf is regarded as well as it could be. But I played well enough, 15 under for four days. But you know, we’ll have a few weeks off and get back at it.”
In a follow up, asked if he would voice these concerns to anyone, McIlroy said, “I hope so.”
“It happened at the Scottish Open, as well, Renaissance,” he said. “I finished [13 under] and finished [T34]. It’s not a good test. I think if the European Tour want to put forth a really good product, the golf courses and setups need to be tougher.”
Interestingly enough, as pointed out by Bunkered’s Michael McEwan, the average winning score on the PGA Tour has been much lower than the European Tour in 2019.
FWIW...— Michael McEwan (@MMcEwanGolf) September 29, 2019
In 2019, the average winning score to par on the European Tour is -15.13.
On the PGA Tour, it's -18.05. Almost THREE shots of a difference.
The five lowest winning scores have all been on the PGA Tour.
(Numbers based on 69 72h strokeplay events)
McIlroy splits time between the PGA Tour and European Tour, although he spends most of his time in the U.S. playing the former. It was just last season in November when he hinted he might not keep his European Tour membership, although he eventually changed his mind (partly thanks to the efforts of European Tour CEO Keith Pelley).
McIlroy’s issues with the European Tour’s course setups weren’t the only thing he vented about on Sunday. He also said the tiebreaker rule that cost him and his dad, Gerry, a chance to win the team event was “unfair.”