"Make your mind up Rory McIlroy... do you want birdies or bogeys?!"

Opinion: Rory McIlroy rants about the birdie-fest setup at the Travelers Championship. But didn't he just tell us bogeys are a turn-off for fans? 

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 26 Jun 2023
"Make your mind up Rory McIlroy... do you want birdies or bogeys?!"

I couldn't help but stifle a laugh late last night after listening to Rory McIlroy tell us he wasn't a fan of the birdie-fest setup at TPC River Highlands, long-time host venue of the Travelers Championship. 

Little more than three months ago, McIlroy said he "doesn't know how people find that [bogeys] entertainment value" at Bay Hill. 

So I ask the former World No.1 the question... does he really want to see birdies or bogeys out there on the PGA Tour

I would also like to add that if TPC River Highlands was really that easy for McIlroy, then why did someone of his ability only shoot a 2-under 68 on Thursday? 

Also World No.2 Jon Rahm missed the cut. It was hardly a pitch and putt course out there. 

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McIlroy, to his credit, rallied thereafter with rounds of 64, 66 and 64 but it was too little, too late... a common theme for his PGA Tour season thus far. 

The Northern Irishman finished tied seventh on 18-under par and five strokes behind eventual winner Keegan Bradley.

That was enough to see him bypass Dustin Johnson on an all-time list on the PGA Tour. 

McIlroy then spoke about not enjoying the setup at TPC River Highlands where just about every hole offered a birdie chance. 

The World No.3 considers technology has overpowered a golf course that was first established in 1928 and last redesigned in 1984, a year that marked its first as host venue of the Travelers Championship. 

McIlroy commented after his round: 

"I don't particularly like when a tournament is like this. Unfortunately technology has passed this course by, right? It sort of has made it obsolete, especially as soft as it has been with a little bit of rain that we had.
"So, again, like the conversations going back to, you know, limiting the golf ball and stuff like that, when we come to courses like this they just don't present the challenge that they used to."

McIlroy was not able to skip the Travelers Championship as it was a designated event on the PGA Tour, and he has already faced a penalty for having bypassed two tournaments on the schedule so far. 

But McIlroy and others knew what lie ahead at this track. After all, Jim Furyk bolted round here in a record 58 shots in 2016. 

It just seems to me as though McIlroy is searching for excuses every time he fails to close out a tournament, which he hasn't managed to do on the PGA Tour since when defending the CJ Cup in October 2022. 

McIlroy continues to come painfully close to grabbing the 24th PGA Tour title of his career, with top-10 finishes in each of his last five starts dating back to the PGA in mid-May, but it's just not happening for him right now.

Nevertheless, despite several near-misses in recent months, McIlroy now has one eye on The Open in a few weeks' time, especially with it being at Royal Liverpool where he etched his name on the Claret Jug in 2014. 

Not that he needed any reminding, but it's been nine years since his last major title. 

GolfMagic ran a poll on our Twitter page off the back of McIlroy's latest chirp, and it would seem the vote suggests the majority of you prefer watching the world's best PGA Tour players struggle on the golf course. 

So not as McIlroy suggested in early March. 

Get involved in the vote here: 

Perhaps McIlroy will take heart from our latest poll result that suggests bogeys rather than birdies are in fact of greater entertainment value to the average golf fan? 

For me personally, I like the current mix of setups we see on the PGA Tour and in the major championships. I think it would be fairly boring for us all to watch one or the other every single week. I wouldn't want to see birdie-fests on a regular basis, but at the same time I also wouldn't want to see six-hour snooze-fests where players are doing their best to break 72 every week. 

If a golf course is really that easy for you, then I feel you just have to go out there, take the winner's cheque for $3.6m and win it by five strokes to make a statement.

So come on Rory, stop the excuses and let your clubs do the talking at The Open. 

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