Boost for Harrington as Rory McIlroy re-joins European Tour

Less than six months after taking the decision to give up his European Tour membership and focus all his efforts on the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy has had a change of heart.

McIlroy enacted an 11th hour U-turn this week to once again make himself eligible for Ryder Cup points this season, handing European captain Padraig Harrington a welcome boost – particularly after the news that he will only be able to make three wild-card picks for next year’s match.

It’s quite a turnaround from January, when McIlroy was quoted as saying, “I’ve done my time – the European Tour is a stepping stone. That’s the way it is.”

While it’s unlikely that McIlroy will play any more than the minimum requirement of four appearances in 2019, it’s still very good news for the European Tour.

The Northern Irishman is already confirmed for the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club from July 11, the week before the Open Championship, while sponsorship commitments should see him tee it up at the European Masters in Switzerland on August 29.

He is also expected to play in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth from September 19, while the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai presents a likely fourth destination.