The Masters - Round Two
Getty Images

Rory McIlroy has withdrawn from the 2023 RBC Heritage field, the PGA Tour announced on Monday. No reason was given for the 33-year-old's withdrawal from the field that has now been trimmed down to 143 players. 

This would have been just McIlroy's third trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina, after appearing in the tournament when it was played in June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before that, the Northern Irishman had played it just once in 2009.

The four-time major champion is coming off a disappointing missed cut at the Masters. In his ninth attempt at the career grand slam, McIlroy failed to muster together a run at the coveted green jacket. 

With the RBC Heritage being elevated to a designated event on the PGA Tour schedule, the top 20 players form the Player Impact Program from the year prior are required -- or at least expected -- to make the short trip from Augusta, Georgia, to the Atlantic coast. Having already skipped the Tournament of Champions event in January, McIlroy could be subject to forfeiting a percentage of his PIP bonus by missing his second designated event of the year. 

Still, with the RBC Heritage immediately following the Masters, it was expected some big names may drop from the field. Former world No. 1 Jason Day also removed his name from the field on Monday while 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is forgoing the proceedings altogether. 

The PGA Tour will combat this tight window with a new tournament cadence in 2024. Three regular events will be followed by two designated events, and the pattern will continue throughout the season. 

This summer, the Tour may face a similar issue when players must travel across the country from the U.S. Open at The Los Angeles Country Club to the Travelers Championship, another newly designated event, in Cromwell, Connecticut.