McIlroy to skip PGA Tour opener Tournament of Champions despite 'elevated purse' status

By Sports Desk December 31, 2022

Rory McIlroy will sit out next month's Tournament of Champions despite its status as one of the PGA Tour's "elevated purse" events.

The world number one is absent from the confirmed field of players set to take to Kapalua's Plantation Course for the traditional season opener on January 5.

The Tournament of Champions is one of several events with an increased pot, in what is viewed as an effort to combat the lucrative pay-outs offered by LIV Golf.

McIlroy, a vocal critic of the breakaway last year, will not be on hand for the curtain-raiser, however, having opted to pass on the event.

PGA Tour members are allowed to skip one "elevated purse" event per season, with the Northern Irishman opting to bow out of the tournament in Hawaii this time around.

It means he has still made just the one visit to the event, having finished T4 in 2019.

Three of last year's major winners will compete however, with Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas and Matt Fitzpatrick all included in the field.

11 first-time winners are included from 2022, while eight of the world top 10 and four FedExCup champions also make the cut, though Open Championship winner Cameron Smith is absent after his LIV Golf defection.

McIlroy is also expected to skip the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January, where he started his campaign this year.

The four-time major winner is set to start his campaign on the DP World Tour instead, with the Dubai Desert Classic, where he is a two-time previous winner.

Related items

  • PGA Tour winner Murray dies aged 30 after withdrawing from Charles Schwab Challenge PGA Tour winner Murray dies aged 30 after withdrawing from Charles Schwab Challenge

    PGA Tour winner Grayson Murray has died aged 30 after withdrawing from the Charles Schwab Challenge.

    The two-time Tour champion withdrew from the tournament in Fort Worth, Texas during his second round on Friday due to illness.

    Murray, who won his second title at this year's Sony Open in Hawaii, passed away on Saturday as the Tour confirmed the news through an organisational statement.

    "We were devastated to learn – and are heartbroken to share – that Grayson Murray passed away this morning. I am at a loss for words," wrote Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

  • Zandre Roye & Mattea Issa in the lead at National Amateur Golf Champs Zandre Roye & Mattea Issa in the lead at National Amateur Golf Champs

    Zandre Roye and Mattea Issa both had a three-point lead over their nearest competitors at the end of the first round of the Jamaica Golf Association's National Amateur Golf Championship being played at the Caymanas Golf Club in St. Catherine.

    Roye scored even par 72 for the round to lead former national champion and club mate Oshae Haye and Jack Stein by three strokes after they both scored three over par 75.

    They were being tracked closely by young guns Rocco Lopez and Trey Williams who are just two strokes back on five over par 77.

    Roye had a good front nine and was up by two between holes six to eight after copping two birdies on holes two and six but bogeyed number eight to close on one under par 35.

    He started the back nine by dropping a shot on hole number 10 but recovered on holes 11 and 12 to be up by two shots between 12 to 15 but dropped a shot on 16 and 17, then parred 18 to close the back nine on one over par 37.

    His four birdies were cancelled out by the four bogeys which he scored in the round. That makes him the only golfer to go into day two with a clean sheet to build on.

    Junior player Mattea Issa scored nine over par 81 to take the lead over many time national champion Jodi Munn-Barrow who ended the first round on twelve over par 84. Alessandra Coe, another junior player was just two shots behind on 14 over par 86.

    Mattea Issa

    Both Roye and Issa were happy with their first round performance under hot and windy conditions on the course, while looking forward to extending their lead at the end of the second round of the three-round championship.

    The second round will get under way at 8:30 am on Saturday morning.

    There will be a new male and female champion this year as William Knibbs and Michelle McCreath who are the 2023 champions did not tee off on Friday and will not feature in the championship this year.

     

  • PGA Championship: Scheffler unsure if arrest a factor after 'hectic' weekend PGA Championship: Scheffler unsure if arrest a factor after 'hectic' weekend

    Scottie Scheffler is unsure whether his arrest on Friday was a factor after a disappointing Saturday led to him finishing tied for eighth at a "hectic" PGA Championship.

    On Friday, world number one Scheffler was arrested outside Valhalla Golf Club ahead of his second round.

    It subsequently emerged that he faces charges of second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

    Scheffler shot a five-under 66 in the delayed second round, one stroke better than his first round, but a two-over 73 on Saturday all but ended his hopes of back-to-back major wins.

    Xander Schauffele ultimately claimed his first major title at 21 under, eight shots ahead of Scheffler.

    Speaking after Sunday's final round, in which a run of seven birdies in 10 holes helped him card a 65, Scheffler said he was proud of the way he finished the event. 

    "I think 'hectic' would probably be a good description," Scheffler said. "I'm fairly tired, definitely a lot more tired than I have been finishing some other tournaments.

    "I'm proud of today how we went out there and fought. I got off to a slow start and I was able to get some momentum and post a good round.

    "Yesterday obviously was quite frustrating and a bit of a different day, but overall proud of how I fought this week. Was fortunate to be out here competing, doing what I love."

    Asked whether his arrest had an impact on his performance, Scheffler said: "It's hard to tell. I think I would attribute it mostly to a bad day. 

    "I think when you come out here to compete, you're doing what you can throughout the course of the round to post a score and I wasn't able to get that done yesterday.

    "Did I feel like myself? Absolutely not. Was my warm-up the way it usually is and the distractions the way they normally are? Absolutely not. 

    "I got arrested Friday morning and I showed up here and played a good round of golf. So I've been good throughout my career at leaving the off-course distractions at home and keeping a pretty quiet personal life.

    "I'm not going to sit here and say that I played poorly yesterday because of what happened on Friday. I just had a bad day out on the course and was proud of how I came out here and bounced back today."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.