MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Early in the PGA Tour’s return to competition Rory McIlroy was asked about some of his fellow players who had decided not to endure a two-week quarantine to play in the United States.
“If I were in their shoes and I was asked to come over to the States and shelter in place or quarantine for two weeks before these tournaments, I would have done that. Because if you really care about your career and care about moving forward, you should be here,” McIlroy said in June at the RBC Heritage.
On Wednesday at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational the Northern Irishman was asked if the roles were reversed would he be willing to quarantine for 14 days to play The Open, which was cancelled this year.
“If it was an Open Championship and I had the chance to go over and play, I would probably take the risk and go and play,” McIlroy said.
However, McIlroy appeared to soften his stance on players who have made the decision to not travel despite a recent move by the White House to allow players and caddies coming to the United States to play Tour events to avoid the two-week quarantine.
“That’s not to say what Lee [Westwood] and Eddie [Pepperell] are doing isn't right, that they feel safer and they feel that their time is better spent at home and not exposing themselves to more people and not having the chance of getting sick or getting someone else sick,” McIlroy said. “I completely understand where they're coming from.”
Both Westwood and Pepperrell opted not to compete either this week or next week at the PGA Championship despite the quarantine waiver.