Rory: ‘Will be nice to get back out there and play’

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Rory McIlroy is looking forward to a return to competitive golf and won’t waste any time getting going as he expects to play the first three PGA Tour events when the schedule starts again next month.

McIlroy, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, said Wednesday that he will play the Charles Schwab Challenge, RBC Heritage and Travelers when the schedule resumes following a shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“And then see where we go from there,” McIroy said during media availability to promote the TaylorMade Driving Relief event on Sunday at Seminole Golf Club. “That’s my plan, play the first three.

“I think it will be nice to get back out and play. Obviously we’re going to have to take as many precautions as possible to be able to put tour events on again, but I think the PGA Tour has got a very robust plan in place, and if they can execute it the right way, I see no reason why we can’t start June 11.”

That is the scheduled first round of the Charles Schwab at Colonial Country Club.

In anticipation of that, the PGA Tour sent a 37-page memo to players on Tuesday outlining all manner of rules and guidelines associated with the comeback, including various testing protocols that will take place each week.

McIlroy said he is comfortable with what he has seen from the PGA Tour as it relates to trying to start up safely.

“I think if you take the necessary precautions, wearing a face covering, washing your hands frequently, sanitizing your hands frequently, practicing social distaining. … I really do think it’s possible,” he said. “I see no reason why you wouldn’t be comfortable with the logistics of getting to an event and from.

“The Tour is going to put on a charter [flight] and there’s going to be a lot of testing and make sure that no one is getting on these planes or into these hotels or onto the golf courses that have tested positive for COVID-19 or showing signs that they may be positive.”

“They are going to have to self-isolate and take all those precautions. Again, I believe the PGA Tour has a very robust policy in place, and if they can execute it, I feel comfortable getting back out there and playing and traveling.”

McIlroy is going to partner with Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in the golf event Sunday at Seminole.

The skins competition will see both teams compete for prize money that will be donated to various charities.

McIlroy and Johnson will play for the American Nurses Foundation while Fowler and Wolff will play for the CDC Foundation. UnitedHealth Group pledged $3-million in charity skins. Farmers Insurance pledged an additional $1 million for a birdies and eagles pool to benefit Off Their Plate, which helps COVID-19 healthcare workers.

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