'Unfortunately Technology Has Passed This Course By' - McIlroy On TPC River Highlands

After finishing in a tie for seventh, McIlroy voiced his opinion of the Travelers Championship host course

Rory McIlroy watches his shot from the fairway
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At the Travelers Championship, Keegan Bradley produced a ball-striking masterclass as he carded rounds of 62, 63, 64 and 68 to pick up a sixth PGA Tour title. What's more, during the final day, the American was five-under thru 12 holes, before three bogeys on his final six gave him a two-under-par closing round.

Along with Bradley, many players shot low at TPC River Highlands, with eight rounds of 62 being posted in the PGA Tour's elevated event. Because of the low-scoring, Rory McIlroy questioned the layout of the Connecticut course, especially with the rise of modern technology.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his shot from the first tee during the final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands

McIlroy finished five shots back of winner, Bradley

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I don't particularly like when a tournament is like this," explained McIlroy, who posted his fifth consecutive top-10. "Unfortunately technology has passed this course by, right? It sort of has made it obsolete, especially as soft as it has been with a little bit of rain that we had.

"So, again, like the conversations going back to, you know, limiting the golf ball and stuff like that, when we come to courses like this they just don't present the challenge that they used to."

The discussion on bifurcation in golf has always been a major talking point in the sport. In March 2023, golf's governing bodies confirmed that they have proposed a way or bifurcation where elite golfers use different golf balls to recreational golfers. Obviously, this caused a mixed reaction from those on the circuit but, in the case of McIlroy, he is heavily in support of the move, with the four-time Major winner previously stating: "I really like it. I really do. I know that’s a really unpopular opinion amongst my peers, but I think it’s going to help identify who the best players are a bit easier.”

Keegan Bradley holds the trophy whilst being interviewed

Bradley secured a three-shot victory and $3.6 million first prize

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another potential factor is course set-up, something which can affect the scoring. This again though comes with its hindrances, with McIlroy stating at the Travelers Championship: "You can grow the rough up and hope you get some firm conditions so it gets tricky. I think the blueprint for a really good golf course isn't growing the rough up and making the fairways tight. That bunches everyone together."

He went on to add: "The blueprint is something like LACC where you have wide targets, but if you miss it's penal. This isn't that sort of golf course. It's not that sort of layout. It doesn't have the land to do that. So, you know, unfortunately when you get soft conditions like this and you've got the best players in the world, this is what's going to happen."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x