McIlroy Admits There Are 'Some Angry Players' After PGA Tour Changes

McIlroy has admitted the idea of limited-field, no-cut events coming to the PGA Tour is not universally popular

Rory McIlroy speaks to the media before the 2023 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass
Rory McIlroy admits not all players are happy about the limited-field no-cut events coming to the PGA Tour
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy has admitted that not every PGA Tour player is happy following the decision to introduce some no-cut, limited-field events to the schedule in 2024.

The Northern Irishman has emerged as one of the most influential figures on the PGA Tour as it continues to take steps to counter the LIV Golf threat, and last week, it was revealed that, among other changes, a new Designated Event Model 2024 would see some of the high-profile tournaments feature between 70 and 80 players, and without the traditional 36-hole cut.

However, as he prepares for this week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, McIlroy has revealed to Todd Lewis at the Golf Channel that the change has not gone down well with everyone. When asked if the Tour was unified, McIlroy’s response with frank. He said: "No. There are some angry players about the Tour changes."

McIlroy was quick to defend the proposal before last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, pointing out that it “keeps the stars there for four days”. He also stressed that it won’t be a closed shop for the highest profile players. He said: “You play well for two or three weeks, you're in a designated event. You know then if you keep playing well you stay in them.”

Along with the change, the PGA Tour confirmed that next year will see a more even distribution of the designated events, allowing players competing in the regular events falling between them the chance to play their way into the bigger tournaments that follow.

However, despite those assurances, the change has been met with scepticism by some, including PGA Tour pro James Hahn, who told Golfweek: “I mean, I hate them. I’m gonna say exactly what 99.99 percent of fans said about players leaving for the LIV Tour. If our players just said, ‘We’re doing this for the money,’ I would have a lot more respect for them. But how they’re covering up what they’re doing and trying to make it a thing about sponsors and fans and saving opposite-field events. I think that’s all BS.”

McIlroy is preparing another assault on the top of the leaderboard following his joint runner-up finish in last week’s tournament at Bay Hill, and he explained to the media beforehand that he's hoping he'll be able to concentrate more on his game from now on. He said: "Hopefully the majority of my time will be spent on concentrating on getting ready for golf tournaments and trying to be the best player that I can be. Not that I feel like it's taken away any of that, but it might give me a bit more free time to do other things that I enjoy, as well."

Given McIlroy's influence on the Tour, it sounds as though he may need to dedicate at least some of his time this week to convincing certain players that the controversial move will benefit the PGA Tour – and its lesser lights – in the long run.

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.