Rory McIlroy is glad to be back in action following golf’s three-month suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Charles Schwab Challenge marks the resumption of the PGA Tour with world No 1 McIlroy leading out a star-studded field.
The world’s top five will all be competing, with the Northern Irishman being grouped with John Rahm and Brooks Koepka for the opening two rounds.
“I think this week is very important because golf will be the centre of the sports world, which it usually is (just) a few weeks a year,” said McIlroy.
“For people to have something to watch on TV where they actually don’t know the outcome I think is going to be nice for them.
“I’m excited to be back on the road and doing what I’m supposed to do: play golf and compete.”
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McIlroy believes golf is perfectly suited to the new circumstances imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
But the 31-year-old has called for patience as those involved take their first steps into a new environment.
“I think it’s an important week because golf can show that we can play in a socially distant manner,” he added.
“We can conduct a tournament and adhere to all the safety protocols that have been put in place.
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“It is going to be very easy to fall back into old habits because it’s just what we’ve done.
“I’d say for the viewing public just to give the players and the caddies a little bit of leeway in terms of if they see something on TV that isn’t quite right.”
Rory McIlroy net worth
Since turning professional in 2007, McIlroy has amassed an incredible wealth of £170million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
This staggering amount has come through his on-course winnings, plus his lucrative sponsorship deals.
The golf star is eighth highest PGA Tour earner of all time, amassing $52.2m.
As for his sponsorships, the Northern Irishman signed a 10-year contract with sporting giants Nike, reported to be worth $200m.
In 2017, he penned a deal with TaylorMade worth $100m to use the company’s clubs, balls and bag for the next decade.
McIlroy has become one of the most marketable sports stars in the world and also has endorsements with the likes of Bose, Omega, as well as being the face of the EA Sports video game Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR.
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How much could Rory McIlroy win this week?
There is $1.35m (£1.06m) up for grabs for the winner at Colonial Country Club this week.
McIlroy has already earned over $3.8m during the current season.
He collected $1745m for his victory at World Golf Championships in November and took home $330,731 for his T5 finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March before the campaign was suspended.
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