Rory McIlroy’s tough ride continues at Wells Fargo Championship heading into PGA Championship
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In the last five weeks, Rory McIlroy is a combined 5 over par, missed the cut at the Masters, posted his worst finish at the Wells Fargo Championship in more than a decade and forfeited $3 million in Player Impact Program cash.
Tough ride, indeed.
McIlroy wrapped up another eventful week with a bogey at Quail Hollow Club’s final hole for a 1-over 72 and was tied for 50th when he left the property. After opening the tournament with an encouraging 68 he settled back into a curious mix of inconsistent driving and sloppy iron play on a course where he’s won three times and holds the 18-hole tournament scoring record.
It’s a confusing plight for a player who appeared trending toward another dominant run with a runner-up showing in March at Bay Hill and a trip to the final four at the WGC-Match Play. But at Quail Hollow he was slowed by the same issues that led to a Friday 77 at Augusta National, particularly his iron play, which ranked 60th in the field in strokes gained: approach to the green (negative 3.5 shots).
Full-field scores from the Wells Fargo Championship
Sunday’s round at Quail Hollow was a snapshot of McIlroy’s last month, with five bogeys sandwiched around three birdies and an eagle.
McIlroy declined to speak with the media following his round and he also didn’t hold his normal pre-tournament press conference, although he did speak with reporters Tuesday evening at a corporate event.
The focus of that interview was his decision to skip last month’s RBC Heritage, a designated event on the PGA Tour this season. Top players as defined by last season’s Player Impact Program are allowed to miss just one designated event, and the South Carolina tournament was McIlroy’s second. According to Tour regulations, he was forced to forfeit the final 25 percent of his PIP bonus ($3 million). McIlroy finished second on last year’s PIP.
“My mind wouldn’t have been [at the Heritage],” McIlroy said Tuesday. “It was more important for me to be at home than there.”
Although McIlroy appeared to suggest the decision to forfeit his PIP bonus was still pending commissioner Jay Monahan left little room for ambiguity when asked if the Northern Irishman had forfeited the remainder of his bonus.
“Players are going to miss a second event to reset and refresh, then he knew that and he knew as he says the consequences of that,” Monahan said.
McIlroy’s next start will be the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, where he tied for eighth place the last time the championship was played there in 2013.