September 29, 2019 / 9:55 PM / 2 months ago

McIlroy criticizes European Tour for easy course set-ups

(Reuters) - Rory McIlroy slammed the European Tour after the final round at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews on Sunday, saying courses were often too easy to properly test the world’s best players.

Golf - European Tour - Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - St Andrews, Scotland, Britain - September 29, 2019 Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy during the final round Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

McIlroy’s frustration boiled over after he shot 15 under par in the pro-am tournament played on three great Scottish links, the St. Andrews Old Course, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.

Despite his impressive score, the Northern Irishman finished back in the pack in a tie for 26th.

“I’m sort of honestly sick of coming back over to the European Tour and shooting 15 under par and finishing 30th,” the world number two told reporters.

“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.”

McIlroy was previously disappointed by the set up at the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick in July.

He shot 13 under par that week and finished equal 34th.

“It’s not a good test,” he said.

Wind is usually the best defense for links courses, but both tournaments were played in fairly calm conditions.

It remains to be seen whether McIlroy’s latest frustration affects his European Tour schedule.

He almost quit the tour this year to focus solely on the U.S.-based PGA Tour, but subsequently decided to play enough tournaments to maintain his membership and remain eligible for Ryder Cup selection.

McIlroy has played five times in Europe this year, including the British Open.

“I think if The European Tour want to put forth a really good product, the golf courses and set-ups need to be tougher,” said the four-times major champion.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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