'Won't Be Very Popular For Saying This' - McIlroy All For Making 'Cutthroat' And 'More Competitive' PGA Tour

The 24-time PGA Tour winner explained how he's 'all for less players and less (PGA) Tour cards'

Rory McIlroy hits a tee shot in front of an Arnold Palmer Invitational sign
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Since the golfing landscape changed some two years ago, Rory McIlroy has been one of the most vocal individuals. From his comments on LIV Golf to the news of a merger with the PGA Tour and Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, the four-time Major winner has never been afraid to voice his stance on the matter.

This week, the fourth PGA Tour Signature Event is taking place at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and, prior to the tournament beginning, much was made of the fact that the limited field event had a 36 hole cut. 

What's more, many took to social media wondering why Nick Dunlap was playing on his own during the first two rounds at Bay Hill, with an odd number of 69 players present after Tony Finau opted not to play earlier in the week with no alternate taking his spot in the tournament.

Despite some of the backlash to smaller field events, McIlroy has no qualms with it, with the Northern Irishman calling for the PGA Tour to be "more cut throat, more competitive." He even added: "I'm all for less players and less (PGA) Tour cards, and the best of the best."

Speaking after his second round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Friday, McIlroy was asked about the idea of having a cut for the Signature Events, with the 34-year-old stating: "Yeah, I was indifferent. I think, when all these signature events were thought of, we were thinking no cut, but if it's important enough, or if it's that important to Tiger and Jack and, if Arnold were alive, if it was important enough for him, then it's their tournament, at the end of the day, and they can do whatever they want. I could have gone either way, but if it's important enough to those guys, then we'll have a cut.

He went on to add: "No, I mean, I'm all for making it more cut throat, more competitive. Probably won't be very popular for saying this, but I'm all for less players and less Tour cards, and the best of the best."

Currently, Shane LowryHideki Matsuyama, Russell Henley, Brian Harman, Wyndham Clark and Scottie Scheffler occupy the top spot in what is, arguably, the strongest leaderboard we have seen in 2024.

Rory McIlroy walks off the green in front of a PGA Tour board

McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2018

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Eight signature events will occur in 2024, with three of those including 36 hole cuts. These are the tournaments with hosts - the Genesis Invitational, which is hosted by Tiger Woods, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament.

Back in November 2023, McIlroy stood down from the PGA Tour's Policy Board, claiming that he wanted to try and focus on his golf game and his own personal business matters. The four-time Major champion first served on the PGA Tour's Player Advisory Council (PAC) from 2019-2021, taking on the role of PAC chairman in 2021, before moving up to the Policy Board as a Player Director in 2022 and 2023.

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