After his stay at The Irish Open came to an abrupt end Friday with a missed cut, his second in as many European Tour starts, Rory McIlroy was suddenly left with a golf game in need of refinement but without any starts on his schedule until the British Open in three weeks.
According to the Ulsterman, that might not be the case were it not for standing obligations he has off the course.
'I have got a couple of commitments next week and the week after as well,' he explained to the Guardian. 'If I didn't have those couple of things to do over the next couple weeks, I probably would have added an event.'
According to the report, the commitments in question include sponsor obligations as well as work with equipment and apparel manufacturer Nike, as McIlroy looks to tweak a new driver that he added to the bag just this past week.
Ranked No. 2 in the world, McIlroy does not lack for playing options; in addition to events on the PGA Tour (The Greenbrier Classic and John Deere Classic), the European Tour will hold the French Open next week, whose field will include Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, with the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open staged the following week, where Phil Mickelson – among others – will participate.
'I am still confident in my ability to hit the golf ball and to hit shots,' McIlroy continued. 'I just need to put in the hard work, put in the hours.'
The situation is reminiscent of the one the 24-year-old faced heading into the Masters earlier this season. After early exits at multiple events, McIlroy surprised many by adding the Valero Texas Open to his schedule the week prior to the season's first major, an event in which he finished second. He went on to tie for 25th at Augusta National the following week.