Sport Golf

Monday 10 December 2018

'It's quite extraordinary' - Paul McGinley finding it 'hard to understand' Rory McIlroy's European Tour snub

27 September 2016; Rory McIlroy of Europe with Paul McGinley during a practice session ahead of The 2016 Ryder Cup Matches at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, USA. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
27 September 2016; Rory McIlroy of Europe with Paul McGinley during a practice session ahead of The 2016 Ryder Cup Matches at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, USA. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Paul McGinley says he cannot understand Rory McIlroy's rationale for potentially playing just two European Tour events in 2019 in a schedule that could see him miss the Irish Open and give up his tour card.

McIlroy will focus his attention on the PGA Tour next year as he looks to recapture the form that saw him win four majors between 2011 and 2014. McIlroy has now gone four years without a major championship, with a new generation of young American golfers winning a number of the showpiece events in the interim.

At the moment it is unclear if McIlroy will play at the Irish Open next summer, which will be hosted by McGinley at Lahinch Golf Course.

Writing in a column on Sky Sports, McGinley admitted that he is struggling to understand why McIlroy has arrived at his decision.

"It's quite extraordinary that Rory's not going to play just two more events to fulfil his European Tour membership next season," McGinley said.

"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!

"Of the 12 players that represented Europe in the Ryder Cup this year, Rory is the only one who is going to do that and the others have all signed up to play the minimum of four events outside of the majors and WGCs.

"The FedEx Cup finishes in August next year, so you've got all of September, October, November and December where the PGA Tour is played in Malaysia, Korea and various other places.

"Is Rory going to play in those rather than play in Dubai, where he has had unbelievable success and offers the exact same prize money as those events? Or is he just not going to play at all over the last four months?"

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