Rory McIlroy slams European Tour: ‘The golf courses and setups need to be tougher’

Ryan Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Rory McIlroy isn’t happy with the European Tour.

After finishing T26 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at The Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland on Sunday, despite finishing the week at an impressive 15-under par, McIlroy took a shot at the Tour as a whole.

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

McIlroy fired a 5-under 67 on Sunday, and finished seven shots back from Victor Perez — who won the tournament at 22-under. McIlroy had an impressive week, too, carding a second-round 66 and a pair of 70s for the tournament.

This week marked his fourth non-major or World Golf Championships start on the European Tour this season. He’s shot at least 11-under par in all four of those outings, too.

While scores have been historically lower at the Dunhill Links Championship, the current No. 2 player in the world doesn’t like how the European Tour has been setting up its tournaments as a whole.

“I don’t think the courses are set up hard enough,” McIlroy said, via Golf Digest. “There are no penalties for bad shots. It’s tough when you come back and it’s like that. I don’t feel like good golf is regarded as well as it could be … It’s not a good test.

“I think if the European Tour wants to put forth a really good product, the golf courses and setups need to be tougher.”

McIlroy content with focusing attention on PGA Tour

McIlroy had an extremely successful PGA Tour season this year.

The 30-year-old won three times on Tour — at The Players Championship, the RBC Canadian Open and the Tour Championship — and had 14 top-10 finishes, including seven straight early in the year.

He won the FedExCup for the second time — joining only Tiger Woods in winning multiple FedExCup titles — and was awarded the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year award, too.

While fans in Europe may not appreciate the Northern Irishman playing so far from home, McIlroy is extremely content playing more in the United States — especially after how his year went.

“Winning the FedExCup was validation of my decision to play more in the States,” McIlroy said, via Golf Digest. “I’m getting stick [for not playing in Europe], but I’m turning down millions of dollars [by not going] to Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia because I want to do the right thing. I want to play on the courses I want to play at. I don’t think I should get stick for that because I feel like I’m doing the right thing.”

Perhaps most importantly, he said, it’s easier for him.

“I don’t want to travel that much anymore,” McIlroy said, via Golf Digest. “I’ve done it for 12 years. I want to have easy flights and not have to go across eight, nine time zones and have to get acclimatized. I’m happy to do what I’ve done this year.”

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