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Rory McIlroy was not a happy man after the Arnold Palmer Invitational. 

Having led after round one, the four-time major winner then endured three tough days to fall out of contention. 

After his final round on Sunday, the 32-year-old criticised the way the course at Bay Hill was set up, arguing it was too harsh. 

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McIlroy claimed some of the game’s top players did not play in order to prepare for the Players Championship this week. 

And he hinted the tough conditions at Arnie’s Place had played a part in that decision. 

“They need to do something about it,” McIlroy said.

“There’s a lot of guys that sort of stay away this week to get ready for next week. Next week’s become such a big event, $20 million purse.

“The four majors are sacred in this game, but it’s very close to being among them with the way it’s going.

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“I think it’s just a golf course setup issue and maybe just trying to make it a little less penal when you miss, I guess.

“Or not even less penal when you miss. I don’t mind golf courses being penal when you miss, but it’s not rewarding good shots.

“I think that’s where it starts to get across the line.”

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