Rory McIlroy urges European Tour to toughen up course set-ups
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 30/09/19 11:30am
Rory McIlroy hit out at the European Tour for setting up courses too easily, insisting he was "sick" of shooting good scores for little reward.
McIlroy aired his frustrations after closing his Alfred Dunhill Links Championship campaign with a 67 in which he birdied his last six holes to finish on 15 under par - seven shots behind champion, Victor Perez, and in a tie for 26th place.
The world No 2 has made three European Tour starts since winning his second FedExCup crown in August, posting 14 under at the Omega European Masters before losing out to Sebastian Soderberg in a play-off, while his 72-hole score of 11 under at last week's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth left him nine adrift of Danny Willett.
McIlroy also scored well at the Scottish Open in July but could not finish inside the top 30 despite breaking 70 in all four rounds, and he has called on officials to toughen up the courses for the higher-profile events.
"I'm honestly sick of coming back over to the European Tour, shooting 15 under par and finishing 30th," said McIlroy, who will now take time off before returning at the inaugural ZOZO Championship in Japan towards the end of October.
Get the best prices and book a round at one of 1,700 courses across the UK & Ireland
"I don't think the courses are set up hard enough. There are no penalties for bad shots, and it's tough when you come back when it's like that. I don't feel like good golf is regarded as well as it could be.
"It happened at the Scottish Open, as well, at the Renaissance. I finished 13 under and finished no better than 30th again, so it's not a good test.
"I think if the European Tour want to put forth a really good product, the golf courses and setups need to be tougher."
McIlroy's flying finish came up agonisingly short of winning the team competition at St Andrews alongside his father, Gerry, the pair finishing tied for the lead on 39 under with Tommy Fleetwood and Ogden Phipps who were crowned champions due to Fleetwood's higher finish in the event proper.
"We played as good as we could," McIlroy Jr added. "We shot 61, 62 and 61 the last three days, and my dad played great. I did what I could for the team. I didn't have my best this week, but I was still 15 under par and could have maybe found a few extra shots in there.
"But we had a great time. Going into today, that's all we could do is try to win the team event and we gave it a really good run. We didn't actually know it was the lowest pro's score, which I think is a bit unfair. It should be the lowest team score and we would have won it but it's been a great week."