The PGA Should be Doing More to Protect Rory McIlroy on the Run up to The Masters

Rory Mcilroy at a press conference

With just two days to go until the start of The Masters, Rory McIlroy took to the press conference stage and showed the world just how much The PGA bosses have let him down. A nine-minute mandatory Masters press conference appearance where McIlroy was not his usual positive self shows just how draining it is to be the poster-boy of the PGA war against LIV Golf.

Rory McIlroy Winning the Masters Clearly Weighs Heavy on his Mind

If we ignore the vital role that McIlroy played in the PGA v LIV Golf war for a moment, the pressure that he is placing upon himself to win The masters is clear. It is mentioned in every pretty much every media interview that he does. The fact it has been a decade since he last won is also referenced in most media conversations. he will know this, he will know this better than anyone.

McIlroy is known for being a committed golf professional. He strives to achieve greatness and is seemingly keen not to dwell on his past successes. The emotion when he nearly won The Masters in 2022 was clear for all to see. He wants to win it again, bad!

The Pressure of Fronting the PGA battle with LIV Golf

The hugely addictive and entertaining Full Swing series on Netflix was packed with insight and behind the scenes emotions that we don’t usually get to see with the world of golf. Whilst the first series told the narrative of the emergence of LIV Golf and the vital role that Rory McIlroy took on, the second season gave an insight into the impact of that role.

McIlroy was bullish and confident in the heat of the battle that was showed in the first series. He looked and sounded deflated when talking about the merger that was announced whilst filming took place in the second series. He also talked about how his down-time had been dramatically reduced by having to make appearance after appearance and give statement after statement during the battle.

These are just the things you can see. If you factor his personal thoughts and emotions into the situation, and then remember he managed to remain the worlds number two ranked golfer for most of that time, you start to understand just how draining this must have all been,

Why is The PGA Not Doing More to Support Rory McIlroy?

When McIlroy strode into The Masters pre-tournament press conference too early, where were the PGA PR people? McIlroy is a savvy media operator, hence the PGA choosing him to front the battle with LIV Golf, but every now and again even the best media handlers need to take a moment.

Did the PGA PR rep not carry out a quick sense check to see if he was ok and what mood he was in? It was a mandatory press conference, but as someone who has helped with media conferences for bigger sports than golf, I know there could have been options to avoid or at least delay the interview that followed.

Rory McIlroy is said to not be happy about the LIV PGA and DW Tour merger

Why was it Left to Tiger Woods To Stick up for his Mate?

As word started to spread that it wasn’t McIlroy’s best Masters press conference, the PGA comms team should have been given instruction to step in and protect their prize asset. As far as we can tell, they didn’t.

Instead it was left to Tiger Woods to deflect the negative media articles by talking up McIlroy’s chances of winning The Masters at some point in his future, including having a great chance this year. This was a great move by another savvy media operator who has had more than his share of media inflicted bruises. McIlroy and his team were able to latch on to the statement given by Woods in order to move the story on from his own, unusually low key, media conference.

What Happens Next for Rory McIlroy at The Masters?

If McIlroy goes on to win The Masters then all of this will be forgotten and it can be labelled as part of his getting in the zone. At the time of writing he is the second favourite to win at 9/1, behind Scottie Scheffler so the bookies have faith he will do well.

If he misses the cut again, he could face a deeper level of media scrutiny and this is where his and the PGA PR team will earn their money. So far though, the PGA team have in no way repaid the favour he did them by front up emotional between between PGA and LIV Golf.