There is the lighter side as World No. 1 Rory McIlroy will be heading into a next tournament, whenever that may be, having birdied his last three holes at the now cancelled Players Championship in Florida.
Though it was the darker side and continuing fears of the Coronavirus pandemic that had McIlroy admitting it was an ‘eerie’ feeling driving into the palatial grounds of the TPC Sawgrass complex with just the sight of gate attendants and a handful of officials before parking his tournament vehicle and being greeted by his fellow players.
Then around 10am Friday (local time) Augusta National advised the 84th Masters was postponed.
“It’s the right decision and while there was the initial decision to stop spectators, they were saying they were taking it hour by hour and seeing how it would all play out,” said McIlroy.
“So, here we are with three weeks off. I’ve got no golf to play coming up. I was supposed to have my coach, Michael Bannon fly out next week and we were going to spend some time together, and that’s probably not going to happen, him coming from Ireland.
“I’ll probably have time just to spend some time at home, evaluate the situation, and see where we go.”
It does mean McIlroy gets to remain World No. 1 for another month but that’s not even an issue.
“This is one of these things where we just have to wait and see as no-one knows where this is all going,” he said.
What McIlroy was aware was the anguish PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan has been through these past few days and it came to McIlroy’s mind in driving past his PGA Tour offices located at the turnoff in driving up to the course.
“I know from his televised statement Jay didn’t sleep the night before last, up trying to make this decision and trying to make the call, trying to do what’s right for the tournament, trying to do what’s right for the Tour, the players, the spectators, sponsors, media, everyone,” said McIlroy.
“It’s been — I drove past his house this morning on the way from the hotel here and just looked, and I was like, geez, it’s been a stressful week for him, you know.
“The bigger picture thing is that I feel better a hundred percent that they’ve made the decision and also for Augusta to postpone.
“If in a few weeks’ time this dies down and everything is okay, it’s still the right decision.
“And then when we do get back to a tournament, whenever that will be, I will have birdied my last three holes in my prior event so that’s got to make me feel a bit better,” he added, smiling.
Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!