Rory McIlroy Provides Update on When He May Retire From Pro Golf

Rory McIlroy.

Getty Rory McIlroy waves to the crowd in 2022.

Rory McIlroy has provided an update on when he’ll call time on his professional golf career.

The four-time major winner, who is competing in the 2024 Cognizant Classic at the PGA National Members Club in Florida, told reporters on February 29 that he’s more than halfway through his career.

“I turned pro in ’07,” McIlroy said. “What is this, my 17th year? Another 17, I’ll be 51.”

In those 17 years, McIlroy has lifted the U.S. Open trophy in 2011, the PGA Championship in 2012 and 2014 and The Open Championship in 2014.

In total, he has 24 PGA Tour victories and, most recently, won the European Tour’s Genesis Scottish Open in July 2023 with a -15 score and one-stroke lead over local golfer Robert MacIntyre.

Though he said he had no intention of hanging up his golf shoes any time soon, McIlroy conceded that he’s on the back on the nine of his career.

“I would say I’m pretty close to the turn at this point, if not a little bit after,” he said. “Maybe on the 10th green or 11th tee.”

Rory McIlroy Gave Cryptic Response Regarding Rumor He’ll Join LIV

McIlroy remains firmly in the conversation about who can win golf’s top honors, including the 2024 Masters in April.

But it is unclear whether he’ll remain on the PGA Tour or whether he’ll flirt with a mega-move to the Saudi-backed rival league LIV Golf.

Speculation ran rampant when McIlroy’s former manager, Andrew “Chubby” Chandler, told Bunkered on February 23 that “it’s a possibility” his ex-client could leave the PGA Tour to join the likes of Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson.

Though McIlroy once said he’d “rather retire” than follow those players into the breakaway league, his stance may have cooled somewhat and he appears open to such a move now.

“[You] never know,” he told reporters on February 29, refusing to rule out a switch.

He then said Chandler “might know a few things. Who knows?”

Chandler said the chances of McIlroy joining LIV were between good and 10%.

“Somewhere in the middle, maybe,” McIlroy said in response.

According to Golfweek, McIlroy knows how his statements can be interpreted.

“What makes this more intriguing is it’s not as if he hasn’t spoken to the man who was his manager for the first four years of his professional career,” Tom D’Angelo wrote on February 28. “McIlroy spoke to Chandler recently. He believes it was in the Middle East at the start of this year.”

McIlroy, Meanwhile, Hopes to Climb The Cognizant Classic Leaderboard

Though McIlroy posted a -4 score in his opening round at the Cognizant Classic on Thursday, he said his iron play wasn’t up to par.

The Northern Irishman finished the day tied in 18th place, but hopes to rectify his approach shots so that he can climb the leaderboard and challenge Chad Ramey and Kim Seong-hyeon who share top spot with scores of -7.

“[An opening day card of 67] around here is always a decent score,” McIlroy said Thursday, per Golf Week.

“It was so benign today — you’re not going to get this course much easier.”

Regarding his approach shots, he added: “It’s something that I’ve been struggling with for the last few weeks and it’s hard.

“It’s hard to replicate on the range the visuals that you’re getting on the course and it’s more a visual thing.

“When I see a pin on the left side of the green, I’m just a bit more uneasy of what shot to play and how I’m trying to swing it.”

McIlroy returns to the course on March 1 with a tee time of 12:40 p.m. Eastern time. His three-ball group includes Jake Knapp and Charles Kirk.

The tournament, which airs on ESPN+ and the Golf Channel, concludes Sunday.

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