Tuesday, November 09, 2010

McIlroy Says No Thanks To 2011 PGA Tour Membership

   An already exceptional year for European golf got a little better this week when young Rory McIlroy announced he will decline his PGA Tour card for 2011, preferring to keep himself based on the European Tour.
    That doesn't mean McIlroy won't be at Quail Hollow next May to defend the championship he won but it means he won't be a regular on the PGA Tour next year. He'll still show up for the majors, the World Golf Championship events and a couple of other events but he won't play the minimum 15 events.

   Part of the problem, McIlroy told reporters, was the FedEx Cup playoffs. Essentially, he didn't like being bound to play the playoff events despite the money they offered. So, he'll stay home more, play the big events and take much the same approach as world No. 1 Lee Westwood.

    It's possible Martin Kaymer may also take the same approach though he hasn't said yet if he'll play the PGA Tour schedule full-time next year.

   In talking to reporters, McIlroy said he found himself missing the European Tour while he was here during the FedEx Cup playoffs. If the playoffs aren't important to McIlroy and he would rather maintain his base in Europe, there's nothing wrong with that.

  "I found myself in America last year, especially in the FedEx Cup playoff series, just not wanting to be there," McIlroy told reporters in China last week.
   "I started switching on the Golf Channel and watching the Omega European Masters in Switzerland and thinking to myself I would rather be there. After a tough summer of golf I need a break after the US PGA. I had one week this year, and then I found myself back in the States to play three in a row.

  "If you're not playing well in the States it can be a lonely place. But if you're not playing well on the European Tour you still have plenty of mates to hang out with."