Rory McIlroy fully focused on the course in bid for fourth FedEx Cup title

Home > Tours > PGA Tour > Rory McIlroy fully focused on the course in bid for fourth FedEx Cup title
McIlroy is the only three-time winner of the FedEx Cup after overturning a six-shot deficit in the final round of the Tour Championship last year.
Posted on
August 23, 2023
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Rory McIlroy can focus fully on claiming a record fourth FedEx Cup title and 18million US dollar (£14.1million) first prize after revealing he is less “emotionally invested” in off-course affairs.

McIlroy was one of the most prominent supporters of the PGA Tour in its battle with LIV Golf and spent part of the build-up to last year’s Tour Championship getting changes to the Tour’s schedule ratified in response to the threat posed by the Saudi-funded breakaway.

However, with the PGA Tour announcing in June plans for a shock deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which bankrolls LIV, McIlroy has been able to take more of a back seat, especially with Tiger Woods recently joining the PGA Tour’s policy board.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy is seeking a fourth victory in the FedEx Cup (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

“I think last year, I was probably energised by everything that was going on in the world of golf. I felt like we were maybe in a bit more of a state of flux,” McIlroy said in his pre-event press conference in Atlanta.

“I sat up here at this table this day last year talking about designated events and getting all the best players to play together and all that stuff.

“I remember this time last year being on a board call at 7.30 in the morning on the Tuesday trying to get all that stuff ratified and get it passed through the board.

“I’ve been able to focus a little bit more just on golf and my game and even able to take two days at home between Chicago and here, getting to spend some time with the girls. That’s been really nice.

“(I’m) maybe less emotionally involved. Last year it was to do with how can we make the product of the PGA TOUR better and I think I was really invested in that.

McIlroy is on the hunt for a fourth FedEx Cup title
McIlroy will again have to make up a deficit to Scottie Scheffler (Richard Sellers/PA)

“So when it comes to, like, governance and investment and all that, it’s not that I don’t care about it, but it doesn’t excite me as much as making the product better and how can we make this the most competitive landscape to play professional golf and how can we get all the best players to play together.

“I’m on the board and I have to be involved and whenever something’s brought to the table I’ll vote on it yes or no. But, yeah, maybe just not as emotionally engaged on all of this other stuff.”

McIlroy is the only three-time winner of the FedEx Cup after overturning a six-shot deficit in the final round of the Tour Championship last year.

The 34-year-old had also started the week six shots behind world number one Scottie Scheffler under the handicap scoring system and instantly fell further behind by making a triple bogey on the first hole.

As the player with the most FedEx Cup points from the regular season, Scheffler again starts the Tour Championship on 10 under par, with Viktor Hovland eight under, McIlroy on seven under and Masters champion Jon Rahm six under.

While McIlroy is in favour of the controversial scoring system first adopted in 2019, Scheffler is not a fan of the format, even though it gives him an advantage.

“This tournament is a little bit weird because there’s starting strokes and I wouldn’t say that it is the best format to identify the best golfer for the year,” Scheffler said.

“Jon Rahm played some of the best golf of anybody this year and he’s coming into this tournament fourth and he’s four shots back. And, in theory, he could have won 20 times this year and he would only have a two-shot lead.

“I feel like I’ve joked a decent amount about being (world) number one meaning you don’t get any extra strokes and you show up this week and I do get some extra strokes. So it’s a bit strange, but it should be a fun week.”

Asked what he learned about losing his six-shot lead in the space of seven holes in last year’s final round, Scheffler said: “I don’t know if impatient is the right word, but I just didn’t get off to a good start and after that, I played really well.

“I remember walking down number eight and kind of just having a talk with myself about, you know, this is why you practice, this is why you prepare, just kind of give yourself a little pump-up speech, and then after that I snapped right back in.”

The Editorial Team Avatar

About The Editorial Team

The editorial team at Golf Today strives to provide readers with captivating content that celebrates the rich heritage and exciting developments in the world of golf. Their collective expertise and dedication ensure that Golf Today remains a premier destination for golf enthusiasts seeking the latest news, insightful analysis, and engaging stories from the world of golf.

Updated: ago Related content:

Read Next

Investec South African Open Championship 2023 R3

South African duo take lead heading into the final day

Investec South African Open Championship R3
Hero World Challenge 2023 R2 - Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods says fatigue to blame for dropped shots in closing holes

Woods shot a two-under-par 70 in the second round of the Hero World Challenge.
Investec South African Open Championship 2023 R2

Jesper Svensson moves into lead at halfway point

Investec South African Open Championship R2
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram