McIlroy may drop "fifth major" at Sawgrass from schedule
World number 10 Rory McIlroy, who quit the PGA Tour earlier in November, has delivered a fresh snub to the US circuit by saying that in 2011 he may not play the tournament dubbed the unofficial 'fifth major'.other Updated: Nov 24, 2010 14:34 IST
World number 10 Rory McIlroy, who quit the PGA Tour earlier in November, has delivered a fresh snub to the US circuit by saying that in 2011 he may not play the tournament dubbed the unofficial 'fifth major'.
The 21-year-old Briton said that he was not a fan of the TPC Sawgrass layout in Florida and was considering dropping the Players Championship from his 2011 schedule.
"I don't like the course," McIlroy told reporters on the eve of the Dubai World Championship, the final tournament of the European Tour season. "That's one of the reasons I'm undecided whether to play it or not.
"That's not to say the 'Players' isn't a great event, it's very prestigious and it would be great to win it one day but it just might not suit my schedule next year."
The Players Championship usually takes place in May but McIlroy seems to be more focused on two important European tournaments that will be staged in the same month.
"You have the World Match Play Championship in Spain and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and they are two big events in the Race to Dubai (money list)," said the young Northern Irishman.
"I want to try to win the Race to Dubai next year so I need to play the big events."
McIlroy also explained that he found Sawgrass an awkward course to picture off the tee.
"It's a Pete Dye course. It creates angles, a bit like Whistling Straits (venue of this year's US PGA Championship)," he said.
"He designed that course as well, where the tee boxes are sort of lining you up in the wrong direction. Visually it's very tough off the tee.
"It makes you feel uncomfortable because it looks like you've only got a little bit of fairway to hit but actually once you get up there, it's a little bit wider. It's just very demanding visually," added McIlroy.
"It's personal preference. Some guys love Sawgrass and some guys don't like it so much." McIlroy, though, is a fan of the Greg Norman-designed Earth layout that is staging this week's $7.5 million Dubai World Championship.
"The thing I like about this course is it gives you definition," he said. "Visually it's quite nice standing back on a tee and looking at a hole where you can see everything is in front of you."
His in-form fellow countryman Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer will be engaged in a head-to-head battle this week to determine the winner of the European money list and McIlroy believes the course suits long hitters like the German.
"You would say that it suits Kaymer more than Graeme but Graeme is on such a roll I don't think it matters what golf course he plays," said McIlroy.
"He is going to put his name in the frame to try and win."