Rory McIlroy admits airing his frustrations with European Tour courses at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship “was not the right place” but is standing by his comments.

McIlroy finished on 15 under par in a tie for 26th place at St Andrews – seven shots behind the champion Victor Perez, and afterwards said he was “sick” of shooting good scores for little reward.

The world No 2 has made three European Tour starts since winning his second FedExCup crown in August, posting 14 under at the Omega European Masters before losing out to Sebastian Soderberg in a play-off, while his 72-hole score of 11 under at last week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth left him nine adrift of Danny Willett.

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Top shots and key moments from the final day at St Andrews, where Victor Perez denied Matthew Southgate while the McIlroys were pipped to the team title by Tommy Fleetwood and Ogden Phipps

Top shots and key moments from the final day at St Andrews, where Victor Perez denied Matthew Southgate while the McIlroys were pipped to the team title by Tommy Fleetwood and Ogden Phipps

McIlroy wrote on Instagram on Monday: “I understand voicing my concerns about golf course set-ups in Europe to the media, at a pro-am event on benign links courses wasn’t the right place to do it, or, the right people to talk to about it.

“I was venting yesterday but I can assure you it came from the right place.”

The 30-year-old, four-time major winner played with his father, Gerry, over the four days at the tournament, which pairs professionals with celebrity amateurs and sees them play three different courses.

Gerry McIlroy and Rory McIlroy finished tied for the lead on 39 under, but just missed out on the team prize Gerry McIlroy and Rory McIlroy finished tied for the lead on 39 under, but just missed out on the team prize Gerry McIlroy and Rory McIlroy finished tied for the lead on 39 under, but just missed out on the team prize

McIlroy, who said he did not think the “courses are set up hard enough”, clarified his comments by saying if tougher conditions are introduced it can only benefit the game and help Europe compete with the United States in the Ryder Cup.

“Strategy, course management and shot making are important aspects of tournament golf that are being slowly taken out of the game at the top level, not just in Europe but worldwide,” he claimed.