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Rory McIlroy has said he doesn’t understand why some of his fellow players have decided not to play on the PGA Tour whilst COVID-19 quarantine restrictions remain in place.

Lee Westwood and Tommy Fleetwood are among the Europe-based players who have opted against travelling to the States as the PGA Tour awakens from its coronavirus slumber.

Westwood has said the trip is “not worth taking the risk” for whilst strict quarantining measures remain in place, whilst Fleetwood has described it as “simply not a consideration” given the risks of not being able to return home to his family in the UK.

Complicating matters is the fact that the world rankings freeze – introduced when the world’s tours went into shutdown at the end of March – was lifted last week with the Charles Schwab Challenge, enabling some players to improve their ranking at the expense of others.

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Whilst he didn’t refer to any specific player, world No.1 McIlroy broadly believes that those who are eligible to play on the PGA Tour and don’t are making a mistake.

“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,” said the 31-year-old.

“If you really care about your career and care about moving forward, you should be here. Last week, there were 70 world ranking points for the winner. This week, it’s 74.”

Acknowledging that there are “different variables” for different players and family considerations to factor in, McIlroy added: “We all have the means to rent a very nice house in a gated community in Florida. 

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“It’s not a hardship to come over for two weeks and quarantine. My caddie, Harry, did it. He came over and stayed in our guest house and the two weeks flew by.

“I honestly don’t understand the guys complaining because there is a solution to it. You can come over here and do what needs to be done.

“It might seem a little harsh but I don’t get that mindset, especially if you care about your career and you want to advance.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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