“If you care about your career, and care about moving forward then you should be over here”.
That is Rory McIlroy’s straight forward advice for his European-born colleagues electing not to return to the States.
It is now the second week of the restart to the PGA Tour and a number of leading world-ranked Europeans still are at home in Europe.
They include Francesco Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood and European Ryder Cup captain, Padraig Harrington.
In contrast, McIlroy is again joined by many other Europeans who chose to return to the States and self-isolate ahead of teeing-up last week in Texas and again this week at the RBC Heritage.
They include England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, Danny Willett, Matt Wallace and Arnold Palmer Invitational champion, Tyrrell Hatton.
And in electing to remain in Europe there have been complaints from those who’ve chosen to stay home because of the World Rankings restarting without consideration to other Tours such as the European and Asian Tours that are still in lockdown mode.
McIlroy was asked his thoughts on those who’ve chosen not to return to the States ahead of this week’s RBC Heritage where the current World No. 1 is competing in the event for only a second occasion since 2009.
“Look, personally, if I were in their shoes and I was asked to come over to the States and shelter in place or quarantine for two weeks before these tournaments, I would have done that,” said McIlroy.
“I mean, if you really care about your career and care about moving forward, you should be here.
“I get there’s different variables and families and stuff involved, but we all have the means to rent a very nice house in a gated community in Florida and you know, it’s not a hardship for two weeks to come over and quarantine.”
The European Tour, suspended since March 9th, will resume with the Lee Westwood hosted British Masters on July 22nd at Close House in England.
Joining McIlroy this week is former RBC Heritage champ, Graeme McDowell who won the event in 2013, and this after his mother had to be rescued after losing her way earlier that week in striving to find the house McDowell was renting.
Joining them is Open Champion Shane Lowry who a year ago teed-up on the alligator inhabited South Carolina course as the reigning Abu Dhabi champion.
Lowry continued to herald what lay ahead a few months later at Royal Portrush by finishing third and then four events later, he was was runner-up in the Canadian Open.
“I came here to Hilton Head hitting the ball the best I had for a while,” he said.
“I had won the Abu Dhabi HSBC and coming here was my ninth tournament, so to finish third was another great chance I gave myself to win.
“Of course, they have cancelled this year’s Open Championship but it would be good to go two places better this week than when I was here a year ago.”
IRISH TEE TIMES (Irish time)
Rory McIlroy – 12.40pm
Shane Lowry – 6.05pm
Graeme McDowell – 6.16pm
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