PGA boss confirms McIlroy to lose $3 mln in bonus money

·3-min read
Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland practices at the Wells Fargo Championship PGA Tour event
Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland practices at the Wells Fargo Championship PGA Tour event

Rory McIlroy will lose $3 million in bonus money after skipping last month's Heritage tournament, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed Wednesday according to multiple media reports.

On the eve of the PGA Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina, Monahan said McIlroy failed to meet the obligations he helped create regarding designated events, ESPN and Sports Illustrated reported.

Following the challenge presented by the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League, the PGA created a set of designated events for the 2022-23 campaign with limited fields and higher purses.

It also required that top players commit to appearing in 12 of the 13 such events, with a financial penalty for greater absences.

McIlroy, a four-time major winner, opted out of the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January and became the first player to miss a second event when he withdrew from the Heritage, a week after he missed the cut at the Masters.

Under a $100 million bonus pool based in part of player popularity, the Player Impact Program, McIlroy was due $12 million for finishing second to Tiger Woods. McIlroy got $9 million in January but needed to complete appearance requirements to claim the final 25% of the bonus.

"When we made the commitment to this schedule with the Player Impact Program, we adjusted for one opt-out," Monahan said Wednesday.

"Then for any second opt-out, you forfeit the 25%, unless there was a medical issue. Based on that criteria, it's actually fairly cut-and-dry."

McIlroy, a three-time winner at Quail Hollow who returns for this designated event, said Tuesday he skipped the Heritage for a mental health break after yet again missing a chance to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the Masters.

"It was an easy decision," McIlroy said. "I felt like if that fine or whatever is to happen was worth that for me in order to get some things in place."

Some players have criticized this year's schedule for having designated events the weeks after majors, such as the Heritage or next month's Travelers after the US Open.

"A player should be able to make a decision not to play. I think that's the beauty of our model," Monahan said. "But he knows the consequences of that based on our criteria and that's our position."

Rules next year will not link the bonus pool to playing in designated events and there will be no minimums for players, Monahan saying the need to stay competitive in season points and the chance to make money against limited fields will attract entrants.

"We've tried to create the right parameters and structure to make certain players want to show up," Monahan said.

Reigning Olympic champion Xander Schauffele said players have been told next year will be easier to schedule.

"We've been made aware that this year will sort of be the year to grind and work through the change," he said. "Next year the schedule will be announced, and it should be a little bit more fluid.

"Yeah, this year is a bit of a grind, but for the most part it should get better."