McIlroy criticises European Tour courses and calls for ‘tougher set-ups’

McIlroy criticises European Tour courses and calls for ‘tougher set-ups’

Rory McIlroy has called for tougher European Tour courses and believes they are necessary to produce better players and help improve Europe’s Ryder Cup chances.

McIlroy initially vented frustration on Sunday at the end of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

The 30-year-old has since said the pro-am event “wasn’t the right place” to express criticism, but stands by his comments.

“I understand voicing concerns about golf course set-ups in Europe to the media at a pro-am event on benign links courses wasn’t the right place to do it, or the right people to talk to about it,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I was venting yesterday but I can assure you it came from the right place.

“Strategy, course management and shot making are important aspects of tournament golf that are being slowly taken out of the game at the top level, not just in Europe but worldwide.

Rory McIlroy played with his dad Gerry during the Alfred Dunhill Links Pro-am event (Kenny Smith/PA)
Rory McIlroy played with his dad Gerry during the Alfred Dunhill Links Pro-am event (Kenny Smith/PA)

“I would personally like to see tougher set-ups in Europe because it will produce better, more complete, young players in the future and that can only be a good thing for the game and our Ryder Cup chances.”

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship brings together top professionals with amateurs from the world of entertainment and is played over courses at Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and St Andrews.

Former world number one McIlroy finished seven strokes behind victorious Frenchman Victor Perez.

Perez closed on 22 under par to celebrate a maiden tour success, with McIlroy’s rounds of 70, 66, 70 and 67 only good enough for joint 26th.

“I’m sick of coming back over to the European Tour and shooting 15 under par and finishing 30th,” four-time major champion McIlroy said on Sunday.

“I don’t think the courses are set up hard enough. There are no penalties for bad shots. It’s tough when you come back when it’s like that, I don’t feel good golf is rewarded as well as it could be.

“I think, if the European Tour want to put forward a really good product, the golf course and the set-ups need to be tougher.”

- Press Association

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