HILTON HEAD, SC—On Thursday, April 13, the RBC Heritage started without the world number 3 ranked golfer, Rory McIlory.

Under new rules a number of stops on tour are “designated events.” Players are allowed withdraw from one designated event this season. McIlroy has already withdrawn from the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January. The money will be withheld from a $12 million Player Impact Program payment to McIlroy

Rory was part of the movement in 2022 that led to designated events coming to fruition. He is a player director on the PGA tour. The events were set up measure to compete with prize money on the Saudi owned LIV League. Big names in golf such as 2020 U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChampeau, 4-time major winner Brooks Koepka and two-time major champion Dustin Johnson joined LIV in 2022.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has yet to comment on McIlroy’s withdrawal. Barstool Sports golf journalist and Netflix’s “Full Swing” pundit Dan Rapaport tweeted:

“Just my opinion, but PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has been way too quiet/out of view throughout the last year. Often leaving it to players to answer tough questions and only addressing the media sparingly, when he’s all loaded and ready with bullet points.”

“Rules are the rules,” World Number 6 Xander Schauffele told Sports Illustrated. “So, I mean, for the most part, a lot of what he wanted is what’s happening. And the irony is that he’s not here.”

Rory McIlroy said this on Netflix’s “Full Swing” in 2022:

“No other athletes in the world get to choose when and where they play. We’ve all just gotten a little soft.”

The fly on the wall documentary following the 2022 season, showed behind the scenes footage of McIlroy’s incredible FedEx Cup victory. The FedEx Cup is the only event on the PGA tour that players do not start on equal scores as it is decided by ranking.