Rory McIlroy could quit the European Tour next year
Rory McIlroy says he is seriously considering giving up his European Tour membership in 2019 in order to focus solely on the PGA Tour.
Speaking at the DP World Tour Championship on Tuesday, McIlroy said he only intends to take part in two full-field European Tour events in the first half of 2019 because of changes in the tournament schedule.
With the Players’ Championship and the PGA Championship having been brought forward to March and May respectively, it has pushed the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, to September.
This means McIlroy will be playing almost exclusively in the United States for the first part of the year.
“I don’t have to commit to anything until May, so I will not have played a European Tour event,” said the world No 7. “I will play the WGCs and majors and events like that, but the true European Tour season does not start until July.
“It is the result of the changes. The way the schedule has worked for next year, it is going to be different for a lot of guys. Everything is going to be so condensed between March and August, and that is why I am taking a big off-season to get myself ready, then go at it hard from March all the way through to basically the end of the season.”
McIlroy said giving up his membership would be made easier by the fact that 2019 was a non-Ryder Cup year.
“If it were to be that I don’t fulfil my membership next year, it’s not a Ryder Cup year so it’s not the end of the world. I am always going to want to play the Ryder Cup and I will try and make the team the year later.
“I am starting my year off in the States (Tournament of Champions in January) and that will be the big focus of mine up until the end of August, and then we will assess it from there.
“I guess my thing is that 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.
New Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald motivated by ‘bitter’ memories of 2021 defeat
Stenson was stripped of the role for breaking his contract by joining the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
The task facing Luke Donald after replacing Henrik Stenson
Stenson was appointed on March 15 and said he was fully committed to a role before signing with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
Tony Finau claims second straight PGA Tour victory
The American won the 3M Open in his previous outing.
Henrik Stenson cushions Ryder Cup blow with £3.6m debut win in LIV Golf
The Swede was stripped of his role as Europe captain after joining the Saudi-backed breakaway tour.
Former Masters champion Bubba Watson becomes latest player to join LIV Golf
The left-hander is currently sidelined by a knee injury and is not expected to play until next season,
Luke Donald tipped to replace Henrik Stenson as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain
The Swede lost the job 127 days after his appointment following his decision to join the LIV Golf series.
Max Homa: Tiger Woods now understands the respect he commands from his peers
Homa has made no secret of his admiration for Woods.
Bernard Gallacher fears Greg Norman is not the man for compromise with LIV Golf
Players who have resigned from the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf will not be eligible for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Brooke Henderson takes two-shot lead into final round of Evian Championship
South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon climbed into outright second place on 15 under.