BMW PGA: Rory McIlroy acknowledged that the “grim” presence of LIV Golf competitors at the BMW PGA Championship contributed to his great performance at Wentworth.
At the DP World Tour’s premier event, 18 players from the Saudi-sponsored circuit competed, including 15 who had taken part in the Boston tournament of LIV Golf the week before. and Talor Gooch were two of the players to stand out.
After shooting a bogey-free 63, Reed set the early clubhouse goal and held the lead for a significant portion of the final day. However, Reed eventually tied for fifth as Shane Lowry defeated Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm by one shot.
“The leaderboard at Wentworth last week at about 2 pm on Sunday was looking pretty grim if you were in a position that I hold,” McIlroy said ahead of the DS Automobiles Italian Open.
“That probably gave me some extra motivation and a few other guys on the leaderboard to get past that 14 under the mark. It’s a weird time in golf, and hopefully, over the next couple of years, we can resolve it in some sort of way.
“I maybe put myself in a conversation too much at times, but I can’t help myself because I feel strongly about it. It’s up to the powers that be to try to come to some sort of, not resolution, I don’t think that’s the right word, but strategy going forward so that the game can drive at the highest level.”
This week at Marco Simone GC in Italy, McIlroy competes in his maiden tournament and makes his first professional appearance. The four-time major champion is eager to become familiar with the course before it hosts the Ryder Cup in September of next year.
“It was really important to be here,” McIlroy added. “Every other European Ryder Cup venue I’ve played, I’ve played before. I just wanted to get some prep. I wanted to get an early look at the golf course.
“I knew that I wouldn’t be able to come back here next May [when next year’s Italian Open is due to take place] and play because of the schedule and everything else, so this is my one opportunity to play. I wanted to be here.
“I wanted to come and have a look at the golf course and feel like I’ve got a little bit of a head start on everyone else in terms of the Ryder Cup for 2023, but it’s not just about that. Look, it’s great to play the golf course and great to play in competition, but I’m here to try to win a golf tournament, too, so trying to kill two birds with one stone this week.”