Amid ‘mixed emotions’ on designated events, Rory McIlroy says Tour won’t be ‘closed shop’
The PGA Tour is about to kick off its second full-scale event with the Genesis Invitational.
But given that certain developments are still ongoing, how long will this pattern last?
The special events created in response to LIV Golf are designed to regularly bring together the best players on the Tour, and so far it has worked. Last week, the WM Phoenix Open brought together 22 of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Rankings at TPC Scottsdale, and this week in the Riviera, 23 of the top 25 players in the world will take part.
The fields are still full, giving you the chance to change someone’s career in a week. However, there are rumors that starting next season, certain events could move to 70-player fields without a cut.
Full match time at The Genesis Invitational
Tiger Woods acknowledged on Tuesday at the Riviera that not all players agree with the scheduled events.
“From the best players to the players who clearly have injuries or the fact that you have guys who are journeymen back and forth, yes, I’ve talked to everyone,” Woods said. “As I said, there are mixed emotions, but at the end of the day we are trying to create the best product, and how do we do it? out.”
Rory McIlroy, Director of Players at the Players Advisory Board, understands that tour stars are what move the needle, but the average guys can feel like they’re being kicked to the curb. However, he assures that this will not happen.
“The feedback, I would say, is similar to what Tiger said yesterday,” McIlroy said on Wednesday, “it’s the top half of the members who are really happy to be in [the designated events]but then the guys are probably looking outside, worrying about whether they will always look outside.
“I think what was important was that it would be like a closed shop for the same guys every week, and it’s not like that. This tour was built on meritocracy. can climb the levels and participate in the biggest events. You can’t take that away.”
The model that McIlroy sees in the future is similar to what already existed. In past years, there have been several non-abbreviated restricted field tournaments per season. Multiple World Golf Championships, Sentry Tournament of Champions, BMW and FedExCup Tour Playoff Championships, and CJ Cup and Zozo Championship in the fall. The only WGC of the 2022-2023 season is the Dell Technologies Match Play.
“Historically, we’ve had tournaments that didn’t have cuts, and we didn’t really grumble about it before the LIV came along,” McIlroy said. “So I think you’re going to see a mixture of both, to be honest.”
But the second player in the world does not neglect tradition.
“I think some tournaments are more amenable than others to maybe shrinking and trying to keep some history, like we were at the old LA Open, which has a ton of history here,” he said. “Is this an event that perhaps should continue? Perhaps because of its history. So we think of all these things. There is a lot of talk around him.”
McIlroy added that helping Tour create the best product to move forward can be difficult to balance with his playing career. However, he hopes that a solution will be found soon.
“I wish I could just go back to [just] play golf at some stage? Absolutely,” he said, “but hopefully after this year the timetable will be set to year 24 and beyond and we sort of get everything else in order. I hope I can come back and concentrate a little more on my day job. It’s not that I don’t focus on it, but a lot of my spare time is spent on a lot of these things.”