Rory McIlroy: Chooses Sponsor Commitments Over British Open Tune-Up

By Carl Conrad
rory mcilroy sponsor commitments british open
Eileen Blass-USA TODAY

More often than not, earning millions of dollars in endorsement deals is all sunshine and puppies for professional athletes. They get paid a ton of money because they are very good at their jobs. In exchange for all of that money, however, those sponsors expect the athletes they endorse to take part in events all over the world. For Rory McIlroy, those sponsor commitments are preventing him from playing competitive golf again before the British Open.

The Ulsterman has endured what has, thus far, been an incredibly inconsistent season and could certainly use a few competitive events to work on his game before the Open Championship. McIlroy would like to play in at least one event, but understands the business side of the game – his sponsors expect his presence at their events in exchange for the truckloads of money they give him. “I have got a couple of commitments next week and the week after as well,” he said. “If I didn’t have those couple of things to do over the next couple of weeks, I probably would have added an event.”

It’s clear that McIlroy is searching for his happy place on the golf course right now. He added a new driver to the bag recently and would have loved to get some work with that club in a competitive format. Alas, he will be relegated to the practice range in the hopes of getting his game into shape for the third major championship of the season, which takes place in less than a month.

Having to skip some events that could greatly improve his chances of picking up a victory is a necessary evil, but it’s also a double-edged sword. He has to indulge the requests of his sponsors in order to keep them happy. McIlroy also has to continue to play well in order for those sponsors to continue endorsing him – and he can’t play well without participating in tournaments.

It must be hell being a professional athlete and dealing with problems such as this.

Carl Conrad is the Senior Golf Writer for Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.


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