Rory McIlroy blasts Tour Championship format and cash as he turns on the style in Atlanta

PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy looking on at Tour Championship

Rory McIlroy has criticised the Tour Championship, questioning both the new handicap format and the amount of prize money for the winner.

McIlroy shot a brilliant 66 in the first round at East Lake, but it wasn’t enough to hand him the lead due to the having to start five shots behind Justin Thomas.

Thomas was rewarded with the head start for being the best performing player in qualifying.

That means that Thomas’ par performance in the first round was enough to hold off McIlroy, and the Norther Irishman is not sure that is fair.

“You can shoot the best score of the week and not win the golf tournament,” McIlroy said before he shot his 66.

“If that happens to someone it’s going to be hard for them to wrap their head around.”

“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 or not.”

McIlroy has also questioned the $15million (£12.3million) prize money for the winner, saying that it actually devalues the prestige of the tournament, and wondering what fans will make of it.

“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”.

“Who knows what the winner wins at the Masters? I don’t know because that’s not what it’s about,” he said.

“The money’s great but I’ll get more satisfaction from winning the golf tournament and playing well. 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 $15m front and centre isn’t probably the best way to do it.”

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