McIlroy quit PGA Tour board because of heavy workload

golf16 November 2023 15:43| © AFP
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Rory McIlroy © Getty Images

Rory McIlroy said his sudden and surprising decision to resign from the PGA Tour policy board was because he had so many commitments "something had to give".

Following an opening round of one-under par 71 at the $10.5 million DP World Tour Championship, McIlroy explained his move.

"There are only so many hours in the day, and there are only so many days in the week, and I've got a lot going on in my life right now," McIlroy said.

"I am trying to be a world-class golfer, trying to be a good husband and a good father. I've got a growing investment portfolio that's taken up more of my time, I'm involved with the TGL. I've got a lot of stuff going on," said the world No 2.

"With the policy board stuff, obviously, it's taken more of my time than ever this year. I just feel like there are people that are there that are able to spend more time and put more energy into it than I am right now. And it's better if someone else takes that spot of mine."

A decision on PGA Tour's Framework of Agreement with the Saudi Public Investment Fund is due before December 31, but McIlroy did not think it was a bad time for him to leave.

"I think the process is in good hands," he said.

"The PGA Tour agreed to let a sixth player on the policy board, so the players are the ones that are going to control the future anyway. So, I sort of felt comfortable enough to step down, because there are guys on that board that are able to dedicate the time and the energy into it."

"I stepped up and spoke out about something I believed in and obviously, the landscape changed in June with that announcement. It was never in my control, but I was playing a lesser part from there on because of the decisions that were made."

"I'm happy to be busy, I like being busy, but I like being busy doing my own things and my own stuff. And it just got to the point where I just couldn't fit it all.

"As I try to get ramped up for Augusta and all those tournaments, I just can't see myself putting the time and the energy into it."

After Thursday's first round, McIlroy was four shots behind Dane Nicolai Hojgaard and the French pair Julien Guerrier and Matthieu Pavon.

The two Frenchman were bogey-free for their 67s, while Hojgaard, who represented Europe in the Ryder Cup, made six birdies after an early bogey on the fourth hole.

Defending champion and world No 3 Jon Rahm, on his fifth appearance, shot his worst round in the tournament – an even-par 72. He was tied 24th.

The $10.5 million season-ending championship has a limited field of 50 players.

While McIlroy has sewn up the Race to Dubai, the other top eight places, which carry a share of the $6 million bonus pool have not been decided.

There also the 10 PGA Tour cards on offer for the top-10 non-exempt DP World Tour members.