By Bernie McGuire at Carnoustie.
Rory McIlroy’s taken yet another friendly ‘dig’ at LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman ahead of Friday’s intended ‘shotgun’ start to the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
McIlroy had bogeyed his final hole on day one of the event at Carnoustie when his ball came to rest very close to an out-of-bounds fence at the back of the ninth green, his last.
The World No. 2 walked off with a disappointing bogey in a round of a four-under 68 after being five-under-par through 11 holes on the course where he won the ‘Low Amateur’ award in the 2007 Open.
However, with winds forecasted to reach 46 mph at 2pm tomorrow, coupled with a 100% chance of rain, Tour officials have brought forward tee times with a shotgun start to take place at the Old Course, Kingsbarns Links and Carnoustie at 8.30am.
Of course, a shotgun start is the LIV Golf format of playing each of their rounds and McIlroy broke out in a smile in remarking: “There’s a blonde Australian laughing somewhere!”
Of course, the blonde Aussie is Norman, with McIlroy also saying: “We’ve got to do whatever we can do to get as much golf in as we can before the expected conditions make the courses unplayable.
“But yes, it did cross my mind that we’ll be having a shotgun start.”
Among those amateurs teeing-up this week is former R&A CEO Peter Dawson, now acting in the role of Chairman of the Official Golf World Ranking (OWGR) who spoke briefly with Irish Golfer Mag, and off the record after his round on the subject of LIV Golf events being allocated world ranking points.
McIlroy added: “I won the Tour Championship in 2019 and got 60 world ranking points and this year I received 37. But it is what it is.
“As it all sort of evens out, and it is more to do with the depth of the field, too.
“I think the one thing that hurt The Tour Championship, and is going to hurt some events going forward, is the fact that you have a shorter field, the depth doesn’t go down.
“Will Zalatoris played in the FedExCup Playoffs, and he won the most World Ranking points of any event because it was a 125-field.
“You would argue that the 70-man field at the BMW where (Patrick) Cantlay won was probably a stronger field but it was less depth, so then he didn’t get as many points as Will, and then I got less than Patrick for winning the Tour Championship.
“So, it seems more of a depth of field thing and a strength of field thing but it’s more how deep the field goes in ranking.”