Rory McIlroy 'sick' of easy European Tour golf course set-ups

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Rory McIlroy calls on European Tour to toughen up golf courses: "It's not a good test... setups need to be tougher"

Rory McIlroy spoke out about his frustrations over the set up of golf courses on the European Tour after finishing tied 26th on 15-under-par at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. 

The World No.2, who had rounds of 70, 66, 70, 67 over the three links courses at Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and St Andrews, said that he was 'sick' of shooting good scores that go unrewarded as he described the courses on the European Tour as not 'hard enough'. 

"I'm not -- I'm sort of honestly sick of coming back over to The European Tour and shooting 15-under par and finishing 30th. I don't think the courses are set up hard enough. There's no penalties for bad shots. It's tough when you come back when it's like that. I don't feel like good golf is regarded as well as it could be.

But I played well enough, 15-under for four days. But you know, we'll have a few weeks off and get back at it."

Since he claimed the FedEx Cup title on the PGA Tour in August, this was Rory McIlroy's third start on the European Tour, having lost in a playoff at the Omega European Masters on 14-under to Sebastian Soderberg before a T9 finish on -11 when Danny Willett claimed the BMW PGA Championship. 

Prior to that, his only other European Tour start in 2019 was at the Scottish Open: He finished T34 on 13-under, and McIlroy referenced that result when he was asked if he would air his concerns further. 

"I hope so," he said. "It happened at The Scottish Open, as well, Renaissance, I finished 13-, 14-under and finished 30th again. It's not a good test. I think if The European Tour want to put forth a really good product, the golf courses and setups need to be tougher."

McIlroy was also left frustrated after he and his father Gerry finished tied at the top of the Pro-Am leaderboard at the Dunhill on 39-under, but lost out to Tommy Fleetwood and Odgen Phipps on a technicality: Even though the McIlroy's had a better final round score, the trophy was given to Fleetwood's team because the best pro's score on the final day counted. Fleetwood carded a final round 64 to McIlroy's 67.

“We played as good as we could,” Rory said. “We shot 61, 62, 61 over the last three days. My dad played great. I did what I could for the team. I didn’t have my best this week. I could have maybe found a few extra shots in there.

“We had a great time. Going into today all we were wanting to do was to try and win the team event, and we gave it a really good run.

“We didn’t actually know that it was the lowest pro’s score, which I think is a little unfair – it should be the lowest team score and we would have won.”

Asked if they would try again after coming so close, McIlroy wasn't sure.

“I’m not sure,” Rory said. “Look, if he wants to, then I will. But I don’t have any real ambitions to play again. I’m happy enough with what we’ve done.”