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It’s officially official, Rory McIlroy’s decision to skip the RBC Heritage the week after missing the cut at the Masters has cost him a $3 million bonus.
McIlroy’s absence at the RBC Heritage marked the second designated event he’s skipped this season. Players can only miss one designated event or forfeit 25% of their potential bonus earnings from the Player Impact Program (PIP).
In December it was reported that 75% of the PIP would be paid after the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The other 25% would be paid out after the final designated event on the schedule.
McIlroy, who will likely finish second in the PIP standings behind Tiger Woods, is now ineligible to receive 25% of the $12 million bonus given to the runner-up, therefore he’s out $3 million.
While various rumors and reports have been circulating about McIlroy’s bonus being withheld after he elected to skip the RBC Heritage, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed that the Northern Irishman wouldn’t be seeing that money at the end of the year.
“First of all, players should be able to make a decision not to play. I think that’s the beauty of our model. But he knows the consequences of that based on that criteria, and that’s our position,” Monahan said of McIlroy ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship.
Monahan was then asked “So the plan is to withhold $3 million, is that correct?” to which he replied, “correct.”
Withholding Rory McIlroy’s PIP Bonus Is The Correct Decision
Many assumed that Monahan and the Tour would make an exception for McIlroy given that he’s been the unofficial spokesperson of the PGA Tour throughout its ongoing battle with LIV Golf. That won’t be the case, however, as Monahan is rightfully sticking to the rule about players skipping designated events.
What shouldn’t be lost here is the irony of the situation. McIlroy was very much a part of meetings and the decision-making process for the new-look designated events and the rules that come with them.
McIlroy isn’t going to lose one second of sleep about missing out on a $3 million bonus. He also made it clear that there are no hard feelings between him and Monahan as he understood the consequences that came with skipping his second designated event of the year.
If there was one player not named Tiger Woods who golf fans wouldn’t be surprised to be given a free pass in this situation it would be Rory McIlroy. Therefore, Monahan and the Tour deserve quite a bit of credit here sticking to their guns.
The Tour created these designated events to get the best players in the world to compete against one another more often than they previously did. In order to do so, strict guidelines had to be laid out but laying out said guidelines and actually enforcing them are two different things.
The PGA Tour handled the situation correctly and has set a precedent for other top players on Tour who may contemplate skipping out on more than one designated event.
This could be looked at as a blessing in disguise for the PGA Tour. Some players would be furious to miss out on $3 million, but McIlroy isn’t in that group of players, so the Tour gets to send a message while not upsetting its most marketable player.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris
One CommentLeave a Reply
Is it though? Rory stuck by the PGA while all the big name golfers went to LIV. If I was Rory I’d say “Ok, your going to do me like that? LIV? How much to come over? 200 mil? Okay, see you tomorrow.” Im not big on the LIV format but it really does have all the golfers I like to watch. I try to watch a PGA event on tv these days and its a snoozefest.