Speaking in Hawaii, McIlroy has said the PGA Tour offers a lot more incentives compared to the European Tour.
Rory McIlroy Calls European Tour A Stepping Stone
Rory McIlroy has caused controversy in the world of golf by calling the European Tour a ‘stepping stone’ to the US equivalent, the PGA Tour.
“The ultimate goal is here [the US]. The European Tour is a stepping stone. That’s the truth. The European Tour is a stepping stone. That’s the way it is,”
“My life’s here. I have an American wife. I live in America,”
“Honestly, I enjoy it here more. The way of life is easier. The weather. The convenience.”
“It’s tough. I still want to support the European Tour, and I talk about this loyalty thing with Europe. [But] it’s not as though I’m just starting out and jumping ship.
“I’ve done my time. I’ve done everything I feel like I need to do to say OK, I’m going to make my own decisions and do what I want.”
“It’s so one-sided. You can talk all you want about these bigger events in Europe, but you can go to America and play for more money and more ranking points.
“I think as well with the world ranking points, everyone out here, all of their contracts with sponsors, it’s all about world ranking points. If players are getting paid more and earning more world ranking points, why would you play over there?”
What is interesting is the timing of this. McIlroy’s comments come just a few weeks after he said he was committing to the European Tour next year. This was after the European Tour’s Chief Executive Keith Pelley flew out to Belfast for crisis talks.
Originally McIlroy said he was only going to play in the Scottish Open and European Masters however according to the Mirror he then said he would play in two of the Dubai Desert Classic, Irish Open or BMW PGA Championship.
At the time the Northern Irishman said; “I want to play against the strongest fields week in and week out, and for the most part of the season that is in America.” Clearly then, combined with the comments made above, McIlroy still feels the same way and is looking to put a lot more focus into playing in America, than on the European circuit.
McIlroy will play in his first tournament of 2019 this week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
Don’t forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.