'I've Gone Back And Forth On Texts With Rory' - Jay Monahan Has His Say On McIlroy Taking A Break After US Open Heartbreak

Jay Monahan has been in touch with Rory McIlroy over his decision to take a break from golf in the aftermath of his US Open heartbreak

Rory McIlroy takes his cap off on the 18th hole at the 2024 US Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After his US Open collapse on Sunday, Rory McIlroy is right to step away from golf for a break to recover - with both Jay Monahan and Xander Schauffele backing his decision.

McIlroy had the US Open in his hands down the closing stretch at Pinehurst No.2, but two short missed putts saw him hand it over to Bryson DeChambeau - who made that incredible up-and-down at the last to win it.

It means the decade-long wait for a fifth Major goes on for McIlroy, but the manner of this near miss will cut so much deeper than any others in the last 10 years.

The Northern Irishman left Pinehurst without talking to the media and was in the air flying home almost before DeChambeau had lifted the trophy - and he then said he was withdrawing from this week's Travelers Championship.

It's a Signature Event so a big one for the PGA Tour, but commissioner Jay Monahan has exchanged text messages with McIlroy and feels he made the right decision.

"I've gone back and forth on texts with Rory, and he's - listen, I think his statement said exactly what he's feeling," said Monahan. 

"And so, as it relates to him not being here, I think, for all of us, in your job, you oftentimes have to think about what it is that you need.

"And I think there are certain times when you're playing the game at this high level - and Xander said it exceedingly well yesterday, sometimes you just need to focus on what you need. And that's what he's doing and that's exactly what he should be doing because that's what he thinks is the right path.

"We're going to have a great Travelers Championship and looking forward to getting Rory back in Scotland."

A clearly heartbroken McIlroy described Sunday as his toughest day as a pro and will not return to golf until the Scottish Open next month - the week before The Open at Royal Troon.

PGA Championship winner Schauffele also empathized with McIlroy and said taking time away was the best plan to try and get over such a huge blow.

"As a competitor all of us have had our highs and lows to a certain degree," said Schauffele. "It's a tough spot. It for sure is a tough spot. 

"I'm sure him and his team are discussing what happened and sometimes you just need to step away from it all and really try and be as objective as possible, because you're very much in the moment there and it obviously didn't go his way and he's just, you know, he needs some time away to figure out what's going on."

Many have questioned just how McIlroy will cope with losing the US Open in such a way, as everything looked to have finally fallen his way when he found himself two shots clear with just four holes to play.

Questions over his club selections, his putting, his mental toughness, and even having Harry Diamond as his caddie have all been raised in the aftermath - and are questions McIlroy will have to deal with when he returns to the golfing spotlight.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.