McIlroy issues veiled apology but sticks by course set-up claims

Bernie McGuire

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

World No. 2 Rory McIlroy may have sought to play down his controversial ‘course set-up’ remarks following the conclusion of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland but the Ulster golfer is sticking by his complaint.

McIlroy surprised many, no doubt the European Tour included, by slamming the set-up of courses on the Tour as he stated in an interview with SKY Sports post his final round on Sunday at St. Andrews.

“You know, I’m sort of honestly sick of coming back over to the European Tour and shooting 15-under par and finishing 30th,” McIlroy said.


“I don’t think the courses are set up hard enough.

“There’s no penalties for bad shots. It’s tough when you come back when it’s like that. I don’t feel like good golf is regarded as well as it could be.

“But I played well enough, 15-under for four days. But you know, we’ll have a few weeks off and get back at it.”

McIlroy’s comments were quickly picked-up by myself and other golf journalists present at the Old Course and before long newspapers and golfing websites around the globe had jumped on the story.

It has led this morning to McIlroy taking the unusual step of issuing a statement, a statement where he seems to be initially apologising but then in the last paragraph, simply confirming his sentiments from Sunday night.

The statement reads …

“I understand voicing my concerns about golf course set ups in Europe to the media, at a pro-am event on benign links courses wasn’t the right place to do it, or the right people to talk to about it.

“I was venting yesterday but I can assure you it came from the right place.

“Strategy, course management and shot making are important aspects of tournament golf that are being slowly taken out of the game at the top level, not just in Europe but worldwide.  I would personally like to see tougher setups in Europe because it will produce better, more competitive young players in the future and that can only be a good thing for the game and our Ryder Cup chances going forward.”

Do you agree with the four-time Major champion?


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