Rory McIlroy looked “tired” while hitting a four-over-par opening round at The Players Championship, according to former European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley.
McIlroy has been one of the leading voices in the PGA Tour ‘s battle against LIV Golf, with the American circuit having undergone a bit of an overhaul, which has seen the introduction of no-cut events next year with limited-field sizes between 70 and 78 players.
McIlroy has been a staunch opponent of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series but admitted the rebel circuit had exposed “weaknesses” in the traditional PGA Tour – resulting in the changes.
On the course McIlroy is currently locked in a three-way battle for the world No.1 spot with Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm.
The trio are set to continue battle this weekend at TPC Sawgrass, but McIlroy faces missing the cut after a disappointing four-over-par opening round. Former Ryder Cup star and four-time European Tour event winner Paul McGinley fears that the Northern Irishman looked “tired” during his poor opening round.
“What I saw today was him tired,” McGinley speaking ‘LIVE from The Players’ after the first round. “I saw a guy that didn’t have the same focus, that was getting annoyed with himself, which was unlike him, and I feel the battery was just down.
“When you think what’s going on with the game, what’s happened even in the last two weeks alone, he had a seven-hour board meeting last week, and he’s been front and centre of everything that is going on. He’s the guy that is out taking the bullets from the media more so than other players. I’d like to see more players out there as well, backing up their own Tour.”
Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley claimed that Rory McIlroy looked “tired”
Tour commissioner Jay Monahan had written to all PGA playing members to outline how ‘elevated’ events would operate with reduced fields and no cut-off mark.
Reigning Masters champion Scottie Scheffler has underlined his concerns with the no-cut events and claimed he would rather be ” kicked out of tournaments ” than forced to play in poor form. PGA Tour veteran Ryan Armour also claimed that those outside the top 70 that miss the lucrative no-cut events will ” feel like a mule ” and could be pushed towards signing for LIV Golf.
McGinley feels that other PGA Tour professionals should be helping McIlroy to deal with the fallout between the PGA Tour and their LIV Golf counterparts.
“This is not Rory’s tour, it’s not Tiger’s tour, it’s not Jay Monahan’s tour,” McGinley added. “This is owned by the players, and if this is going to work and these new Designated Events are going to work, everybody has got to go row in behind. They can’t just have one spokesperson and let him take all the bullets, everybody has got to be in there supporting and driving this ship forward.”
Source : Mirror