European Tour

McIlroy on European Tour plans: I have to look out for me

accreditation
Rory McIlroy (AP)
Rory McIlroy (AP)

Cape Town - Rory McIlroy has responded to Paul McGinley's criticism of his decision to potentially give up his European Tour membership next season. 

McIlroy revealed earlier this week that he was seriously considering not committing to playing the minimum four European Tour events - outside of the Majors and the World Golf Championship events - needed to secure membership next season. 

Instead, he wants to focus almost exclusively on the PGA Tour for the first eight months of the year, and would reassess the decision in 2020, the next Ryder Cup year. 

In a column for Sky Sports, McGinley said he was struggling to understand the Northern Irishman's reasoning. 

“It’s quite extraordinary that Rory’s not going to play just two more events to fulfil his European Tour membership next season. It’s very disappointing and it is obviously a blow for the European Tour," he wrote. 

“I’ve been racking my brains wondering how that can be. Obviously Rory sees it in other ways and has got his own rationale for that, although I’m finding it hard to understand. We’ve already reduced the number of events players have to play on the European Tour from five down to four, just to make it easy for the guys, like Rory, who are playing a worldwide schedule.” 

After his first-round 69 at the DP World Tour Championship on Thursday, McIlroy was asked for his thoughts on McGinley's comments, and offered a diplomatic response. 

“Everyone looks out for themselves. McGinley is on the European Tour board, so he’s involved and he has to protect what he has and I get it. Everyone has to do what’s best for them. For me next year I’m trying to do what’s best for me to help get back to the best player in the world and try to win majors again,” McIlroy said. 

“Everyone has to look out for themselves. Next year I am looking out for me. At the same time I don’t have to make a decision on it,” he added, pointing out that his membership fee for the European Tour is only due in May. 

“I didn’t say it was a definite, it is up in the air. We’ll see how it goes.” 

Asked whether he minds that the decision will get him a lot of flak, McIlroy replied: “I’d cause all the stirs in the world if I got back to winning majors.”

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Waratahs 7
Chiefs 35
loading... Live
West Indies 97/10 & 82/4
South Africa 322/10
loading... Live
England 303/10
New Zealand 320/5
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
40% - 14753 votes
Cricket
12% - 4554 votes
Football
19% - 6911 votes
Athletics
3% - 954 votes
Boxing
1% - 364 votes
Cycling
2% - 869 votes
Golf
5% - 1847 votes
Motorsport
9% - 3173 votes
Tennis
4% - 1312 votes
Water sports
1% - 338 votes
American sports
1% - 457 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 1240 votes
Vote