Rory McIlroy has expressed his vision for a golf world tour that integrates national titles into the global circuit at destination venues while also sharing his hopes of finally adding the Masters to his major collection.
The four-time major champion captured a US Open title in 2011, the PGA Championship in 2012, and the Open and PGA Championships in 2014. But its now almost a decade since the man from Northern Ireland claimed his last major crown. While reflecting on Augusta, McIlory shared what winning a green jacket would mean for his legacy.
“I’d love to win it,” he told Golf Digest. “If I don’t, I probably will look back and think I missed out on something.”
“I did an interview a few years ago when the interviewer asked if I felt like I deserved a green jacket,” he continued. “I don’t deserve anything. The game has given me more than enough. I have to go out there and earn it.”
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“The Masters is the Disneyland of golf,” McIlroy added. “You go there, put the Mickey Mouse ears on, and get into what it is. And when you leave, you snap out of it.”
McIlroy is in Dubai for the start of his season and in a wide ranging interview, and also expanded on his thoughts about an evolving golf-landscape. LIV Golf has altered the complexion and he believes interesting times lie ahead, outlining his belief that a worldwide schedule for the world’s very best players could be looming.
The world no. 2 plays primarily on the PGA Tour but is a regular on the DP World Tour, particularly the early weeks of the year on the ‘Desert Swing.’
He highlighted the potential of diverse markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan and specifically highlighted the prestigious tournaments like the Australian Open and the South African Open as being in need of higher profiles as well as improving the game for the players.
“We need to make sure the courses are worthy of the players who are going to be competing,” he added. “My dream scenario is a world tour, with the proviso that corporate America has to remain a big part of it all. Saudi Arabia, too. That’s just basic economics. But there is an untapped commercial opportunity out there.
“Investors always want to make a return on their money. Revenues at the PGA Tour right now are about $2.3 billion. So how do we get that number up to four or six? To me, it is by looking outward. They need to think internationally and spread their wings a bit. I’ve been banging that drum for a while.
“The South African Open is another I’d have in the mix. Then you have places like Singapore and Hong Kong and Japan. What a market Japan represents. That would be another opportunity. We could end up with something that resembles Formula One, but with a little more of an American presence.
“Throw in the four majors and you have a brilliant schedule for the top 70-100 guys, whatever the number is. We’d have, say a 22-event schedule. That would look pretty good to me.”
McIlroy’s season starts with the Dubai Invitational this week before remaining in the Emirates for the Dubai Desert Classic next week, all part of earlier preparation for his Masters push. “My big thing about Augusta is just to go in there playing well. The weeks before are important just to get me feeling like I’m in good form.
“This year, in fact, I’m going to play more before the Masters. It will be my ninth or 10th event of the year. Previously, it’s been my sixth or seventh. I’ll hopefully be a bit sharper and know exactly where my game really is.”