Rory McIlroy insists it was an “easy decision” to lose potentially £2.4m in bonus money when he first spoke about how missing the cut at the Masters “sucked”.
McIlroy did not speak to waiting reporters after a second-round 74 at Augusta National prematurely ended his latest attempt to win a green jacket and complete a career Grand Slam.
The world number three then withdrew from RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, meaning he had missed his second PGA Tour “designated event” of the year and was subject to forfeiting 25 percent of his Player Impact Program bonus. .
“We certainly have our minimums, obviously we signed up for this series of designated events this year,” McIlroy said at a FedEx promotional event ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship.
“Obviously I knew the consequences losing one of those could have. It was an easy decision, but I felt that if it’s okay or whatever happens, it was worth it for me to put a few things in place.
“I had my reasons for not playing Hilton Head. I expressed those to Jay [Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner] and if he thinks that’s enough to justify… look, again, I understood the consequences of that decision before I made it.
“So whatever happens, happens.”
McIlroy revealed that he had allowed himself to think about his chances of becoming the sixth player to win all four major titles after shooting 5-under on the back nine of his practice round Wednesday at Augusta.
“Me thinking that way is not a good thing,” said the four-time Grand Slam winner. “All I should be thinking about is the first shot on Thursday.
“You need to stay in the present moment and I feel like I didn’t do a good job at Augusta because of how well I came in playing. Maybe I got a little ahead of myself.”
Describing his performance, McIlroy added: “It sucked. He sucked. It’s not the performance I obviously thought I was going to put on. It wasn’t the performance I wanted either. Just incredibly disappointing. But I needed some time to regroup and focus on what was to come.
“It’s been a great 12 months and I don’t know if I fully reflected on things. I never really got a chance to really think about the Open and St Andrews (where he was joint leader after 54 holes) and everything that happened there.
“It was nice to have three weeks to put all that stuff in the rearview mirror and try to focus on what’s next.”
Things to come on the course include the US PGA Championship later this month and July’s Open Championship at Hoylake, where McIlroy lifted the Claret Jug in 2014.
And McIlroy hopes he can now expend less energy in his role as the PGA Tour’s unofficial mouthpiece in its battle with LIV Golf as the season progresses.
“I wasn’t gassed by golf, I was gassed by everything we’ve had to deal with in the golf world over the last 12 months and being right in the middle and being in that decision-making process. McIlroy added.
“I always thought I had a good handle on perspective on things and where golf fits into my life, but I think in the last 12 months I had lost sight of that, lost sight of the fact that there is more to life. than the world of golf and this silly little fight that happens between tours.
“And I think once I kind of tuned out a little bit, I was able to see things a little bit clearer and where it all fits together. I guess it was a good restart.”