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'I saw a couple of calls to shut the tournament down, which is silly'

Rory McIlroy calls on players to avoid panic after calls came to suspend PGA tour.

McIlroy hits from the 10th fairway during yesterday's first round.
McIlroy hits from the 10th fairway during yesterday's first round.
Image: Frank Franklin II

RORY MCILROY HAS made it clear that he considers the idea of suspending the PGA Tour to be a “silly” one.

Two players, Nick Watney and Cameron Champ have tested positive for Covid-19 – while four more have opted out of the Travelers tournament in Connecticut. McIlroy, however, is not one of them. He shot 63 yesterday then shot from the hip afterwards. 

“You hear of one or two positive tests and people are panicking,” McIlroy said. “I saw a couple of calls to shut the tournament down, which is silly from my point of view. There’s been almost 3,000 tests administered and the percentage of positive tests is a quarter of a per cent. I think as a whole it’s been going really well. There were a couple of loose ends we needed to tidy up and I think we’ve done that. 

“Jay (Monahan, the tour commissioner) did a wonderful job,” McIlroy said. “Just relaying the information, where the Tour stands on things and where we’re heading going forward. 

“He did a really good job explaining. I feel like the mood and the tone of the event was probably lifted by Jay.”

McIlroy’s mood was certainly lifted by the quality of his performance yesterday. He shot an eagle, six birdies and a par. In contrast to the previous two weeks, when he finished in 32nd position at the Charles Schwab Challenge and 41st at the RBC Heritage, he has found form.

“Well, I deemed the last two weeks successes,” he said. “I hadn’t been to Colonial before and I hadn’t been to Hilton Head in over a decade so they were like practice weeks for me.”

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Garry Doyle

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