McIlroy again forced to justify New Year PGA Tour move

Bernie McGuire

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Some nine months on and Rory McIlroy again found himself somewhat justifying his 2019 early season decision not to re-join the European Tour and instead focus on his PGA Tour ambitions as he plots a similar path for his 2020 campaign.

McIlroy’s decision raised more than a few eyebrows with many quick to criticise the four-time Major winner not staying loyal to the European Tour’s ‘Desert Swing, where for all but one season in his pro career, he had begun a New Year.

The four-time Major winner continued to defend his decision up to an including the WGC – Mexico Championship in February, the WGC – Dell Match-Play Championship in March and April’s first major, the Masters but given the fruits of the move, the Holywood star insists it will be a similar recipe for success next year as he aims to cut down on his air miles in 2020.


McIlroy said: “I’ll definitely do the same again.

“I don’t want to travel that much anymore. I’ve done it for 12 years and now I want to have these easy flights and not have to go across eight or nine times all the time, to get acclimatised and all that.

“I’m happy to do what I’ve done this year and winning the FedExCup was validation of that decision to do a few more in the States.

“I’m getting stick but I’m turning down millions of dollars to go to Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia because I want to do the right thing by playing on the courses I want to play at.

“I don’t think I should get stick for that because I feel like I’m doing the right thing, you know.

“It’s been a great year. I won the FedExCup. I won The Players Championship. I’ve won big events and I’ve consistently played well.

“Every week I show up and I shoot good scores and play good golf, and if I just keep continuing to do that, I’ll be in a good spot next year.”

Ahead for McIlroy is nearly a month off from competition before travelling later in October for the Japan Skins (October 21st) and then the inaugural ZoZo Championship starting on October 24th.

McIlroy will then contest the WGC – HSBC Championship and wind-up his 12th full season in the pro ranks in the European Tour season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

“I’ve got three weeks back at home, and then go Japan, China, and then go back to the States for two weeks and then play Dubai,” he said.

“Then I’ll probably take two months off and then come back, sort of end of January.”

Though foremost in his plans is an event next Saturday.

“My dad’s turning 60 next Saturday, so we’ll just go out for a bit of dinner,” said McIlroy.

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