(Reuters) – The European players who opted not to travel to the United States for the PGA Tour’s restart after a three-month COVID-19 break should not complain about losing out on world ranking points, world number one Rory McIlroy said on Wednesday
The Official World Golf Ranking decided to unfreeze the ranking with last week’s resumption of the PGA Tour even though competitors on the European Tour cannot preserve their ranking at home since action remains on hold.
Northern Irishman McIlroy, competing this week at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, said that while he had little sympathy for the Europe-based players.
“Look, personally, I — if I were in their shoes and I was asked to come over to the states and shelter in place or quarantine for two weeks before these tournaments, I would have done that,” McIlroy said at Harbour Town Golf Links.
“I mean, if you really care about your career and care about moving forward, you should be here.”
The European Tour, suspended since March, will fully resume with the British Masters on July 22.
Among the high-profile golfers who opted not to head to the United States in the meantime are McIlroy’s Ryder Cup team mates Tommy Fleetwood, who slipped outside the top-10 in the rankings this week, and Francesco Molinari.
“I get there’s different variables and families and stuff involved, but we all have the means to rent a very nice house in a gated community in Florida and — you know, it’s not a hardship for two weeks to come over and quarantine,” McIlroy said.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)