Rory McIlroy insists it was an “easy decision” to forfeit £2.4million in bonus money as he speaks for the first time about how the cut in the Masters went missing.
McIlroy did not speak to waiting reporters after a second-round 74 at Augusta National prematurely ended his latest bid to win a green jacket and complete the career grand slam.
The world number three withdrew from the RBC Legacy at Hilton Head, meaning he missed his second ‘designated event’ of the year on the PGA Tour and was subject to losing 25 per cent of his Player Impact Program bonus.
“We’re definitely at our minimum, obviously we signed up for the series of designated events this year,” McIlroy said at a promotional event for FedEx ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship.
“Obviously I knew the consequences of missing one of those. It was an easy decision, but I felt that if that fine or whatever is going to happen, (it was worth it for me to implement certain things).
“I had my reasons for not playing Hilton Head. I pointed those out to Jay [Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner] and whether he thinks that’s enough of a warrant… look, again, I understood the ramifications of that decision before I made it.
“So whatever happens, happens.”
McIlroy revealed he had allowed himself to think about his chances of becoming the sixth player to win all four majors after playing five under par on the back nine of his practice round on Wednesday at Augusta.
“It’s not a good thing for me to think that way,” said the four-time major winner. “What I should be thinking about is that first shot on Thursday.
“You have to stay in the moment and I feel like I didn’t do a good job of that at Augusta because of how well I came in playing. Maybe I got a little ahead of myself.”
Describing his performance, McIlroy added: “It came big. he sucked.
“This is obviously not the performance I thought I was going to put up. Not the performance I wanted either. Just extremely disappointing. But I needed some time to regroup and focus on what lies ahead.
“It’s been a big 12 months and I don’t know if I’ve fully thought things through. I never really got a chance to think about the Open and St. Andrews (where he was joint leader after 54 holes) and everything that went on there.
“It was nice to have three weeks to put all that stuff in the rearview mirror and try to focus on what’s ahead.”
Next up on the course is the US PGA Championship later this month and July’s Open at Hoylake, where McIlroy won the Claret Jug in 2014.
And McIlroy hopes he will now be able to devote less energy to his role as unofficial spokesman for the PGA Tour in his battle against LIV Golf as the season progresses.
“I wasn’t fired up because of golf, I was fired up because of everything we’ve had to deal with in the golf world over the last 12 months and being in the middle of it and being in that decision-making process. ,” McIlroy said.
“I always thought I had a good handle on the perspective of things and where golf fits into my life, but I think in the last 12 months I’ve lost sight of that, I’ve lost sight of the fact that there’s more there. for life is the golf world and this silly little squabble going on between tours.
“And I think once I disconnected from it a little bit, I could see things a little more clearly and where everything fits. I think it was a good reset.”