Rory McIlroy has slammed the PGA Tour over its new scoring system ahead of this week's season-ending 30-man Tour Championship where the winner will be crowned FedEx Cup champion and receive a cheque for $15 million.
McIlroy, 30, was quizzed by the media as to his thoughts on whether the new handicapped scoring system for the last tournament of the year was appropriate to crown a season-long champion.
The World No.3 starts on 5-under par in fifth place, reflecting his current fifth spot in the current FedEx Cup standings, and five strokes behind FedEx Cup leader Justin Thomas who starts on 10-under par.
McIlroy has picked up the most top-10 finishes of any player on the PGA Tour this season with two victories to his name. Putting that up against FedEx Cup leader Thomas, and McIlroy has one more victory and six more top-10 finishes than the American.
Unfair for a season-long race? McIlroy thinks so.
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"We had breakfast with some of the sponsors and what I said to them was if the PGA Tour is trying to do this ‘season of championships’, which starts with the Players [Championship] in March, then goes through the four majors and culminates with the FedEx Cup at the end, if the FedEx Cup really wants to have this legacy in the game like some of these other championships, is people starting the tournament on different numbers the best way to do it?" said McIlroy.
"I get it from a fan experience point of view, I get it from giving guys that have played better throughout the year an advantage, but I don’t know – come back to me on Monday and I’ll tell you if it has worked.
"You can shoot the best score of the week and not win the tournament. If that happens to someone it’s going to be hard for them to wrap their head around."
Previously there have been two prize-givings on the Sunday, with the winners of both the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup being crowned, but this week there will just be one winner who takes it all.
Throw in the obscene $15 million jackpot on offer for the winner this week - which equates to just over £12 million - and the Ulsterman thinks the tournament could end up being unrelatable to golf fans.
"If the FedEx Cup wants to create a legacy that lasts longer, it doesn’t need to be about the money, it should be about the prestige of winning an event that you’ll be remembered for," said McIlroy, who won the 2016 FedEx Cup following a playoff victory at the Tour Championship.
"I don’t think the money needs to be front and centre because I don’t think that’s what the fans care about. It’s definitely a thought that came into my head, ‘How can we make ourselves more relatable to the fans?’ – and having $15 million front and centre isn’t probably the best way to do it."
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