CROMWELL, Conn. — Rory McIlroy experienced arguably the lowest moment of his professional career during the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. It caused McIlroy to pull out of the 2024 Travelers Championship, a PGA Tour Signature Event, three days before it was set to tee off.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who exchanged messages with McIlroy since his final-round heartbreak, weighed in on McIlroy’s decision. And Monahan understood.

“I think his statement said exactly what he’s feeling,” Monahan said at TPC River Highlanders on Wednesday. “You have to think about what it is that you need, and I think there are certain times when you’re playing the game at this high level — and Xander (Schauffele) said it exceedingly well yesterday — sometimes you just need to focus on what you need.

“That’s what he’s doing and that’s exactly what he should be doing because that’s what he thinks is the right path.”

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Schauffele, the No. 3 golfer in the world behind No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and McIlroy, empathizes with McIlroy. McIlroy, who held a two-stroke lead late in the U.S. Open, bogeyed three of the final four holes and finished as the runner-up behind two-time U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.

“As a competitor, all of us have had our highs and lows to a certain degree,” Schauffele told reporters Tuesday. “It’s a tough spot. It for sure is a tough spot. I’m sure him and his team are discussing what happened and sometimes you just need to step away from it all and really try and be as objective as possible, because you’re very much in the moment there and it obviously didn’t go his way. He needs some time away to figure out what’s going on.”

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While the absence of the fan-favorite McIlroy surely will be felt at TPC River Highlands, plenty of talent remains in the 71-player field. Seven of the top 10 players in the world will take part in the star-studded event.

McIlroy, meanwhile, will next play at the Scottish Open in mid-July.

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Featured image via Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports Images