Rory McIlroy opted out of the final signature event of the 2024 PGA Tour season, the Travelers Championship, as he takes a three-week hiatus from golf in the aftermath of his crushing defeat to Bryson DeChambeau at the U.S. Open.

Speaking at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, CT. on Wednesday, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said he understood McIlroy's last-minute decision to skip the only annual high-profile tournament in the Northeast.

“I've gone back and forth on texts with Rory,” Monahan said at his Travelers pro-am press conference. “I think his statement said exactly what he's feeling. As it relates to him not being here, for all of us and for you guys, in your job … 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 said it exceedingly well yesterday, sometimes you just need to focus on what you need. And 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.”

McIlroy's 10-year major drought continued after he missed two par putts under 4-feet on holes nos. 16 and 18. He bogeyed three of the last four holes to surrender a two-shot lead to DeChambeau — a LIV Golf League celebrity, no less.

McIlroy hustled out of Pinehurst No. 2 Sunday night before taking questions. He released a statement Monday calling it the “toughest” day of his professional golf career and congratulating DeChambeau.

“As a competitor, all of us have had our highs and lows to a certain degree. It's a tough spot,” PGA Championship winner Xander Schauffele said Tuesday. “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 and he's just, you know, he needs some time away to figure out what's going on.”

LIV's Jon Rahm blasted NBC's coverage for “severely underplaying” the difficulty of McIlroy's downhill putt on No. 18. Shane Lowry asked the public for sympathy on behalf of his countryman (and duet partner).

McIlroy and Monahan are close, despite Rory calling himself a “sacrificial lamb” after the surprise June 6, 2023 framework agreement announcement. (In Full Swing, McIlroy posits that he's closer to the commissioner than he is to most players.)

McIlroy, along with Monahan, Tiger Woods, and Adam Scott, is a member of the transaction subcommittee handling negotiations with LIV Golf's backer, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, on behalf of PGA Tour Enterprises — a for-profit branch tasked with growing the sport. McIlroy recently participated in a “big boy” meeting in New York between the PGA Tour and PIF.

As the eighth signature event — an initiative started amid LIV competition — the Travelers will feature a $20 million purse, an exclusive field, 29 of the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings, and no cut.

McIlroy has finished top-20 in all five of his career starts at TPC River Highlands. His T7 in 2023 is his best ever result.

The 35-year-old pledged a “resilient” return to golf, beginning with a title defense at the Genesis Scottish Open (July 11). The Open Championship at Royal Troon begins the following week.

“You look at the quality of the field that we have this week, we're going to have a great Travelers Championship,” said Monahan. “And I'm looking forward to getting Rory back in Scotland.”