'It Keeps The Stars There For Four Days' - McIlroy Defends PGA Tour No-Cut Events

The World No.3 says plans to introduce no-cut events to some designated PGA Tour events will help attract sponsors

Rory McIlroy talks to the media before the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational
Rory McIlroy says plans to introduce radical changes to designated events are not confirmed
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy has defended the idea that many of the PGA Tour’s designated events will reportedly be limited field, no-cut affairs in 2024 and said the proposition is likely to help attract sponsors. 

The 33-year-old is preparing for a designated event, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, at Bay Hill this week. However, while the events retain a cut after 36 holes this year, Golfweek has reported that the PGA Tour Board met on Tuesday night to ratify changes that will see the changes introduced to each designated event except the Majors, The Players Championship and the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Speaking to the media before this week’s tournament, the World No.3 pointed out that no-cut events are nothing new. He said: "Well we've always had no-cut events on this Tour. If you think of like the four WGCs, you've got the three playoffs events, you've got the CJ Cup, the Zozo. So there's precedent there for no-cut events."

The introduction of designated events was done at least partly in response to the LIV Golf threat. The PGA Tour's rival, of course, consists solely of no-cut events, and McIlroy is convinced it's only a contentious issue because of the emergence of the Saudi-funded circuit. He said: "The only reason no-cut events are a big deal is because LIV has come along. So there is precedent for no-cut events. There's been no-cut events since I've been a member of the Tour and way beyond that as well."

McIlroy also suggested the issue might not be rubber-stamped just yet. He said: "So, yeah, is there maybe going to be a few more of them? Maybe. That's still TBD by the way. That's not been decided yet. But if we do go down that path there's precedent there to argue for no-cut events."

The Northern Irishman then addressed exactly why he sees more no-cut events as important, and pointed to the fact they guarantee big-name players appear on all four days. He explained: "It keeps the stars there for four days. You ask Mastercard or whoever it is to pay $20m for a golf event, they want to see the stars at the weekend. They want a guarantee that the stars are there. So if that's what needs to happen, then that's what happens."

McIlroy, along with Tiger Woods, is one of the most influential players on the PGA Tour and held a player-only meeting before last year’s BMW Championship alongside the 15-time Major winner to help determine a path forward for the Tour amid the LIV Golf threat. One of the proposals that reportedly emerged from that meeting was to introduce 18 no-cuts tournaments between the top 60 players

Whatever the outcome of the shake-up, it looks like it won't go that far, but regardless, it appears it has been an idea some time in the making - and McIlroy seems to be fully behind it.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.