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Players Championship: Rory McIlroy admits sacrificing time to off-field responsibilities as he misses the cut

Rory McIlroy says he is “ready to get back to being purely a golfer” after “sacrificing” time to off-the-course distractions.

The world number three missed the cut on Saturday after the storm-delayed Players Championship second round.

Organising players-only meetings and serving as a player director on the Tour Policy Board are some of the Northern Irishman’s responsibilities.

“It’s just the time management,” McIlroy, 33, said.

Rory McIlroy

“The golf out here, that’s fine, but it’s just more the time at home to make sure you’re getting prepared, to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to be ready once you show up to these weeks.

“That’s where I’ve maybe sacrificed a little bit of time with some of this other stuff.”

McIlroy has also been helping formulate new models for the PGA Tour and has been one the most vocal PGA Tour players in the ongoing rivalry with LIV Golf and its chief executive Greg Norman.

“I’d love to get back to being a golfer, yeah. Look, it’s been a busy couple of weeks, and it’s been -honestly, it’s been a busy sort of six or eight months,” McIlroy said.

“But as I said at the start of the week, everything has sort of been announced now, and the wheels have been put in motion, so it should obviously quiet down from here.”

McIlroy finished his second round on Friday with a one-over-par 73, to follow his first-round 76, but he missed the cut by three shots as the final finishers reached the clubhouse on Saturday morning.

It is the 2019 champion’s sixth missed the cut in 13 starts at the tournament at TPC Sawgrass in Florida, but a first missed cut since the FedEx St Jude Championship last August.

Canadian Adam Svensson headed into round three nine under with a two-shot lead over Masters champion Scottie Scheffler.

“It was just very blah,” said McIlroy of his performance. “I guess the course, you just have to be really on to play well here.

“If you’re a little off, it definitely magnifies where you are off. It’s a bit of an enigma. Some years I come here and it feels easier than others.”

American duo Ben Griffin and Collin Morikawa were tied for third alongside Australia’s Min Woo Lee and Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa.

England’s Aaron Rai, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose were the best placed British players, but Matt Fitzpatrick also missed the cut. –