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The Northern Irishman looks set to continue his scintillating run of form that has seen him finish in the top ten in five of his last six starts, opening his Travelers Championship account with an eight-under 62 that has him in a tie for the lead with JT Poston.
Video: Things you didn't know about Rory McIlroy
The 33-year-old has become the unofficial voice of PGA Tour players in golf's power struggle but denied that that has given him any extra motivation.
"I just think it so happens that the most protective of the PGA Tour are the best players in the world right now," McIlroy said. "I'm not going out to try to prove anything to anyone. I'm in a good run of form. I'm playing well. Whether that gives me a little more confidence to speak up on certain issues, maybe. But I'm just going out there trying to play my game and trying to win some more tournaments."
"I get asked questions, I answer questions, and I move on with my life. What the other guys do doesn't affect me. All I can do is go and try to play the best possible golf, be a good person, be a good dad, be a good husband, and that's all I do.
"I try to stand up here and answer your questions truthfully and try to tell you what's on my mind. Sometimes that's to my detriment, I guess, in some ways. But I'd rather be honest and speak my mind than just stand up here and give you mundane answers that aren't indicative of how I am actually thinking and feeling about the whole thing."
One man who will be delighted to see the name of McIlroy atop another PGA Tour leaderboard is commissioner Jay Monahan. After losing another two players - Abraham Ancer and Brooks Koepka - to the Saudi-backed breakaway circuit, Monahan unveiled plans to overhaul the off-season to combat the LIV Golf threat.
Specifically, eight limited-field events that bear a striking resemblance to the LIV Golf format are to be added to next year's schedule which will revert back to a calendar year, with the FedEx Cup running from January to August.
McIlroy is in favour of the proposed changes, adding that it will "make the regular season much more competitive" and have some guys "thinking twice" about joining the Saudi revolution.
"As he [Monahan] said, there's only one reason that the guys are going to the other side, and it's because they have an opportunity to make more money. Even though Scottie Scheffler has made $13 million this season and it's only June. There's opportunities to make a lot of money out here. But like everything always has been in golf, it has to be earned.
"Some of the changes that were made to the schedule, to -- I think Webb was talking about it, it'll make the regular season much more competitive. Everyone starts at zero at the start of the year. Everyone has the same opportunity to make the big events with the big prize funds and whatever. I think it'll make it more competitive and make it a more compelling product, honestly.
"I think we appreciate that as players, and I think the people that watch us appreciate that. We all start at zero at the start of next week and we all go again. But I think some of these changes to the schedule and some of these increases in prize funds, I'm sure it'll have some guys that were thinking about it to think twice and maybe reconsider their decision."
A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
What's in Andy's bag?
Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)
3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)
Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
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