‘Everyone has to look out for themselves’: Rory McIlroy insists it’s every man for himself after heavy criticism of his decision to risk losing European Tour membership in 2019
- Rory McIlroy has dismissed criticism of his schedule for the 2019 season
- McIlroy revealed he only plans on playing two European Tour events next year
- Regulations mean golfers have to play four events to keep their membership
- Losing his membership would also mean he cannot be a Ryder Cup captain
- The news has not gone down well but McIlroy insists it is what is best for him
An unrepentant Rory McIlroy insists he is unconcerned by criticism of his plan to play just two European Tour events next season.
McIlroy, who must play four European Tour tournaments outside the majors and World Golf Championship events to be a Tour member, currently only has two on his schedule and could even miss the Irish Open, an event he has hosted for the last four years.
Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, who has succeeded McIlroy as host of the Irish Open at Lahinch in 2019, wrote in a column for Sky Sports that the possibility was ‘very disappointing’ and that he found it ‘hard to understand’.
Rory McIlroy dismissed criticism of his decision to only play two European Tour events in 2019
Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley was one of the vocal critics of McIlroy’s schedule
But speaking after an opening 69 in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, McIlroy said he would accept causing a stir if he could end his four-year winless streak in the majors.
‘Geez, I’d cause all the stirs in the world if I go back to winning majors,’ McIlroy said.
‘Everyone has to look out for themselves and next year I’m looking out for me.
‘At the same time, I don’t have to make a decision on it. I didn’t say that it was a definite.
‘It’s up in the air. I don’t have to make a decision till May. We’ll see how it goes.
‘McGinley is on the European Tour board. He’s involved and he has to protect what he has, and I get it.
‘Again, everyone has to do what’s best for them and 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.’
But McIlroy insists he has to look after himself as he tries to get back to winning majors
If McIlroy does indeed give up his membership in 2019 he would be able to rejoin the European Tour in order to be eligible for the 2020 Ryder Cup, which he said he intents to do.
But a regulation introduced in January 2017 would prevent him being a captain or vice-captain in the biennial contest in the future, something McIlroy is clearly not thinking about.
‘It’s 20 years away,’ McIlroy, who does not turn 30 until next May, added.
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