CHARLOTTE, NC — Rory McIlroy was asked to describe his disappointment at missing the cut at the Masters after entering the first major championship of the season as a favorite in early April, and gave a blunt two-word response on Tuesday .
“It sucked. It sucked,” McIlroy said in his first meeting with reporters since missing the cut at Augusta National Golf Club. “It’s not the performance I was obviously hoping for, nor the performance I wanted. Just incredibly disappointing. But it took me some time to regroup. And focus on what’s ahead. “
So much so that McIlroy sacrificed likely $3 million of the $12 million bonus he earned through the PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program in 2022 when he attended the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina next week , skipped.
McIlroy said he knew he would forego receiving the full amount of the bonus because he did not attend the RBC Heritage, a designated event with a $20 million prize pool.
“My mind wouldn’t have been there,” McIlroy said. “It was more important to me to be at home than there.”
Under the new tour policy, top players must compete in all but one of the 12 newly designated events, excluding the Major Championships and Players Championship. McIlroy had already skipped the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January. Top players who miss more than one lose 25% of their PIP bonus.
“We certainly have our minimum,” McIlroy said. “We obviously signed up for this series of designated events this year. I knew, of course, what the consequences of missing one of these could be me to fix some things.”
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan may waive the fine if a player submits a valid reason for withdrawing from a second specified event. The PGA Tour is repealing the rule that players must attend all but one in the next season.
McIlroy and 15-time major champion Tiger Woods were among the players who helped Monahan reshape the PGA Tour schedule in response to the threat posed by the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf League.
“I had my reasons for not playing Hilton Head,” McIlroy said. “I have expressed that to Jay and if he feels that is enough to justify this. … You know, look again, I understood the ramifications of that decision before I made it, so whatever happens happens.”
McIlroy will make his first start since the Masters at this week’s Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. He said he didn’t pick up his golf clubs for two weeks after failing to finish the career grand slam by winning the Masters for the ninth straight year. He spent a weekend in New York to celebrate his anniversary with his wife Erica.
“I think the last 12 months with everything that’s happened … it’s been a big 12 months,” McIlroy said. “I don’t know if I like to sit down and really think about things. I never really got a chance to think about the St Andrews Open and everything that went on there.
“Just tons of different stuff and it’s been nice to have three weeks to just stick all that stuff in the rear-view mirror and just try to focus on what’s ahead: three more majors, the whole golf season yet to play. That’s a good three weeks to get all that done and freshen up and get ready for the next three months.”