McIlroy WD From Hilton Head Could Mean $3M Bonus Deduction

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Rory McIlroy was one of the strongest voices in private player meetings that led to a season in which top players agreed to play in 17 designated events. A later update allowed them to miss one of those events.

McIlroy now has missed two and risks losing $3 million of his $12 million Player Impact Program bonus.

McIlroy was a favorite at the Masters and then shot 77 in the second round to miss the cut. Three days later, he withdrew from this week’s RBC Heritage with its $20 million purse. He already withdrew from another designated event, the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, at the start of the year.

In announcing the PIP results in November — McIlroy was No. 2 behind Tiger Woods — the tour originally said 25% of the bonus would be paid after Kapalua. A memo sent to players in December said 75% would be paid after Kapalua, and the rest paid when a player met the rest of his obligations, which included playing in 16 of 17 designated events.

So now what?

McIlroy has not said what led to his withdrawal from Hilton Head, whether it was an injury, family emergency or some other reason that would excuse him. And then there’s the footnote at the bottom of the PIP:

“The Commissioner, in his sole discretion, may modify, waive, or adjust eligibility requirements, program commitments and/or program metrics based on extraordinary circumstances.”

As strong a voice as McIlroy has been against the threat of Saudi-funded LIV Golf, the tour has to weigh whether to enforce its policy or give McIlroy a $3 million way out for his leadership during such radical change and division in golf.

McIlroy never spoke at the Masters after missing the cut. Storms rolled in as he finished, the second round was suspended and Augusta National ordered the course evacuated.

Jason Day and Alex Noren also withdrew from the RBC Heritage. Day finished 18th in the PIP while Noren was not among the top 23 players and has no obligations.