Masters fatigue isn’t a documented medical condition, but it’s one many tour pros who have spent weeks prepping to play in the year’s first men’s Major say they suffer from after competing in the whirlwind of Augusta National.

Perhaps that is the case for Rory McIlroy, who the PGA Tour announced on Monday had withdrawn from this week’s RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

No specific reason for McIlroy’s decision is listed, so it’s unclear why he has decided to pass on the event. However, it’s not a stretch to connect it to his disappointing performance last week at Augusta National.

McIlroy was among the pre-tournament favourites heading into the week, having finished second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and third at the WGC-Dell Match Play. But the 32-year-old followed up an opening 72 with a second-round 77 to miss the cut for just the third time in 15 starts.

Whether his Masters performance precipitated the withdraw or it is related to something else, McIlroy’s decision to skip playing this week would hardly be notable in most years; McIlroy has actually played in the tournament just twice in his career.

But this year’s RBC Heritage is one of the tour’s new designated events for 2023, with a $US20 million prizemoney payout on the line. And since McIlroy has already missed one designated event on the schedule – he skipped playing in the Sentry Tournament of Champions to start the year – a second absence could potentially have other ramifications.

When PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan outlined last August at the Tour Championship the plan for designated events in 2023, he noted that top players would be required to play in all 13 designated events for which they have qualified in order to be eligible for payments under the $100 million Player Impact Program.

The tour later changed the criteria to allow player to skip one event. But now that McIlroy will be missing a second, the question is whether he will be ineligible for the PIP, in which he finished third in 2021 and second in 2022, receiving $15.5 million overall.

The PGA Tour had yet to reply to a request for clarification on the matter when publishing this story.

Interestingly, when the tour outlined how designated events will work in 2024, officials dropped the requirement for players to play in them all to remain eligible for the PIP.