Adam Scott questions (?!) Rory McIlroy response to 'stuff going on outside the course'

Adam Scott does not believe Rory McIlroy has been struggling with his game despite his heavy involvement in PGA Tour - PIF talks.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Adam Scott believes Rory McIlroy has hid things very well if the ongoing PGA Tour-PIF talks have played a key role in affecting his golf game over the past 12 months. 

When the PGA Tour made its shock announcement on 6 June 2023 that it was partnering with LIV Golf's bankrollers on a commercial partnership, McIlroy, 35, was a player director on the PGA Tour policy board. 

Tiger Woods then also decided join the board as the PGA Tour stepped up its player power to try and get a deal over the line with PIF. 

Although McIlroy did win the Genesis Scottish Open a month later in July, it would mark the sole PGA Tour victory of his 2023 season. 

McIlroy put his lack of silverware last year down to spending a great deal of time on the phone and in player meetings as he tried his best to help the PGA Tour thrash out a deal.

As a result of his struggles in 2023, at least by his own admission, McIlroy chose to step away from the PGA Tour policy board at the end of the season to allow him to focus more on his golf game in 2024. 

McIlroy does not believe PIF talks have progressed
McIlroy does not believe PIF talks have progressed

But with a lack of progress made in PGA Tour-PIF talks over the first half of the 2024 season, McIlroy was reportedly encouraged by a number of members on the PGA Tour policy board to make a swift return. 

He put forward his name last month, only he was soon rejected in a 3-2 scoreline.

Woods, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay voted against McIlroy's return, while Scott and Malnati in favour of him. 

McIlroy was, however, added to the PGA Tour's 'transaction subcommittee' where he is now one of three active players who are engaged in direct negotiations with the PIF alongside Woods and Scott. 

So McIlroy is still heavily involved in the deal. 

McIlroy 'filed for divorce' with his wife last week
McIlroy 'filed for divorce' with his wife last week

McIlroy responded to his snub earlier this month by saying there was no bad blood, especially with his TGL partner Woods.

But he then told reporters how he felt like he was banging his head against a brick wall given the PGA Tour's lack of progress with PIF.

Those comments came at the same time that Jimmy Dunne walked out of the board. 

Another key figure also resigned this week. 

There have been conflicting reports as to whether or not a deal between the PGA Tour and PIF is really any closer this week. 

Some say there has been very good progress, while others suggest a deal is still way off. 

In one report from the New York Times, the PGA Tour and PIF have 'exchanged terms'.

But back to the top of the story, and Scott's thoughts on the state of McIlroy's game with everything that is going on with PIF.

Adam Scott
Adam Scott

Although McIlroy headed to Valhalla last week off the back of consecutive wins, he went on to finish T12 in the second major of the season. 

The four-time major champion also finished a lethargic T22 at The Masters last month, as his wait to land the career grand slam at famed Augusta National goes on for another year. 

It's now also coming up to 10 years since McIlroy last won a major (2014 US PGA). 

McIlroy finished T12 at the US PGA
McIlroy finished T12 at the US PGA

Despite continued disappointment in the majors, Scott, 43, does not believe McIlroy's game has dipped a great deal with 'all the stuff that's been going on outside the course'. 

The Australian can see why McIlroy has found his role 'challenging' though. 

Here's how the exchange between a reporter and Scott played out ahead of this week's Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas:

Q. Rory's talked about sometimes it's hard to play with all the stuff going on outside the course and outside the tournaments and all the changes. I know you're in tune to all that. Have you found that sometimes that gets in the way of your focus, thinking about all the, you know, seems like daily, weekly, monthly changes, you know, to the world of golf?

ADAM SCOTT: Maybe I need to struggle a little more like Rory on the golf course. I would like to struggle like he does. (Laughing). If it's affecting his play, it's hard to see. He's played incredibly for a long, long time. Maybe he thought it held him back from some success. I don't know, I think we are probably at different stages of our careers and I don't think it has any impact on my play at all. It's all about -- I'm fully aware that where I need to put my time and at this point I have a little bit of time for dealing, being on the PGA TOUR board and I still think I have enough time to work on my game and other things in my life as well. So, but I understand everyone, if you asked me 10 years ago I probably wouldn't have been willing to give that time at that point, and so I can understand maybe Rory found that challenging.

McIlroy, who 'filed for divorce' on the eve of the US PGA last week, is not in action this week but he will return at next week's RBC Canadian Open where he will bid to win a third title following victories in 2019 and 2022. 

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