For withdrawing from this week’s RBC Heritage, Rory McIlroy will reportedly lose $3 million from his PIP (Player Impact Program) purse, which was valued at $12 million.
The PIP bonus pool, valued at $100 million in 2022, was introduced as a way to funnel money to the circuit’s top stars. The program’s secretive algorithm is said to measure a player’s popularity using metrics such as social media engagement and search engine results, among other variables.
Following the 2022 season, Tiger Woods earned the top spot and was awarded $15 million with no strings attached due to injury, and well, he’s Tiger Woods. McIlroy came in second and was promised $12 million, with $9 million paid up front. According to reports, the additional $3 million was held in escrow and payable following the season’s ninth and final “elevated” tournament: the Travelers.
The Hilton Head stop is the sixth “designated” event of the 2023 season.
Under new PGA Tour rules relative to “designated events,” players are allowed to skip one designated event, but McIlroy had already skipped the season-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions in January.
The fine or penalty is for McIlroy’s second absence from a designated event. The PGA Tour confirmed Friday that McIlroy will not be getting the $3 million.
Ironically, McIlroy and Woods spearheaded the campaign to make designated events a major part of the new and improved PGA Tour schedule. The idea was to get the top players competing in the same fields more often. Yet, Woods has played in just a single event (Genesis which he hosted) and Rory has already missed two of six.
“It’s trying to create the best schedule that guarantees that the top players play in the big events,” said McIlroy in March. “But also that it can sort of guarantee the participation in a handful of the full-field events as well.
“So I think there’s a pretty good balance to it, and I can certainly — if you’ve got those 16, 16 events from January to August isn’t a ton, right. You’re going to play more than that to feel sharp and ready to go at the biggest events.”