Rory McIlroy: 'Players who care about their careers should be here'

Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood
Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood have been Europe Ryder Cup team-mates

Rory McIlroy says the European players who opted not to travel to the United States for the PGA Tour's restart last week should not complain about losing out on world ranking points.

The Charles Schwab Colonial in Texas marked the return of professional golf.

The Official World Golf Ranking decided to unfreeze the ranking system with the resumption of the PGA Tour.

"I mean if you really care about your career and care about moving forward you should be here," said McIlroy.

Competitors on the European Tour, which has been suspended since March, cannot preserve their ranking while out of action at home.

Players on that tour having to wait until the British Masters on 22 July before they can return to tournament play.

Northern Irishman McIlroy, competing this week at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, said that he had little sympathy for the Europe-based players.

Among the high-profile golfers who opted not to head to the United States in the meantime are McIlroy's Ryder Cup team mates Tommy Fleetwood, who slipped outside the top 10 in the rankings this week, and Francesco Molinari.

"Look, personally, if I were in their shoes and I was asked to come over to the States and shelter in place or quarantine for two weeks before these tournaments, I would have done that," said McIlroy, 31.

"I get there's different variables and families and stuff involved, but we all have the means to rent a very nice house in a gated community in Florida and... you know, it's not a hardship for two weeks to come over and quarantine."

Learning lessons for the future

World number one McIlroy started the final round last week three shots off the lead but carded a four-over-par 74 to slide well out of contention and end in a tie for 32nd place.

"Obviously, disappointing not to shoot a good one on Sunday, but it was fine," McIlroy said at Harbour Town Golf Links, a course he has not competed on since 2009.

"I learnt quite a bit from it, and hopefully those lessons I can put into practice this week."

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy fell out of contention on the final day of the Colonial event

It was the third time in four Sundays that he has carded an over-par round when in contention but McIlroy is not too concerned ahead of teeing off this week.

The four-time major winner added: "I played OK last week. It was a good gauge to see where I was at and what I needed to practice and what I needed to do going into the next few weeks.

"It's not like I've necessarily shot bad scores on Sundays. I got off to a couple of bad starts in some final groups, but I still was able to come back and shoot scores in the 60s. So, no, I'm not worried about anything."

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