Rory McIlroy now looks likely to retain his European Tour card after Keith Pelley flew out to Belfast for 'crisis talks'
Rory McIlroy Set To Commit To European Tour In 2019
Rory McIlroy is set to commit to the European Tour next year after the Tour’s Chief Executive Keith Pelley flew out to Belfast for crisis talks.
That’s according to an exclusive from the Irish Mirror, which says that Rory ‘is expected’ to play the minimum of four regular European Tour events next year to retain membership.
News broke last month that McIlroy was only going to play in the Scottish Open and European Masters next year, missing the early season Desert Swing and Rolex Series events like the Irish Open and BMW PGA Championship.
That was going to see him play his first regular European Tour event in July but more importantly, lose out on the chance to Captain or Vice-Captain the European Ryder Cup team in the future.
He said at the time, “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.”
However, the Mirror say he could play two of the Dubai Desert Classic, Irish Open and BMW PGA Championship.
If he were to play a Desert Swing event, he may opt to play in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship which is now a Rolex Series event.
Another likely addition may well be Wentworth. Keith Pelley would likely have pleaded with McIlroy to play in the Tour’s flagship event which has a new spot in the schedule next year.
The new-look September BMW PGA Championship may well attract the event’s biggest-ever field due to the PGA Tour season ending three weeks before it.
The four-time major winner is beginning his 2019 in Hawaii at the Tournament of Champions ahead of a new schedule featuring a tightly-packed season from March to August.
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McIlroy had previously been criticised by Paul McGinley whilst Tony Jacklin stuck up for the Northern Irishman.
McGinley described McIlroy’s move as “quite extraordinary and very disappointing.”
Tony Jacklin stuck up for the 29-year-old, saying, “I’m in total agreement with his decision.
“He must have no regrets about what he’s trying to achieve in his career and from his point of view he’s got to be where the best players are. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
“You’ve only got one life and you don’t want to be looking back with regrets. The best tournaments are all that matter to a top golfer, all the other stuff is unimportant. The majors are the be-all and end-all for the great players and Rory is obviously a great player.”
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