When it comes to sport at its uppermost level, it is quite clear World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and European Tour CEO Keith Pelley respect each other’s views.
The four-time Major-winning McIlroy has been outspoken THAT this year’s Ryder Cup should not go ahead given the on-going COVID-19 uncertainty of the September 25th commencing encounter at Whistling Straits.
McIlroy had sent Pelley into damage-control a few years back with his comments at a DP World Tour Championship that he was considering not rejoining the European Tour for the 2019 season.
Pelley actually flew to Belfast ahead of Christmas that year to speak to McIlroy face-to-face before coming away with the assurance he would retain membership.
Now we have McIlroy commanding headlines with his ‘my personal hunch is that I don’t see how it is going the Ryder Cup can happen, so I do not think that it will happen’ comments.
And now we find Pelley again on the back foot seeking to deflect questions regarding the Ryder Cup as he faced the media last Thursday to discuss the ‘UK Swing’.
Asked about McIlroy’s comments, the tour chief executive said that he welcomed the words from the World No.1.
It’s led to Pelley being asked his reaction by SKY Sports.
“It’s not unhelpful, it’s the magic of our game,” said Pelley.
“I’ve talked to Rory numerous times over the last couple of months, and every time I chat with him, I come off the phone with a great feeling.
“He’s so intelligent, he’s so bright, and I love the way he speaks his mind. I’ve got no problem with that at all, and it’s fantastic for our game. Let’s be honest, Rory McIlroy being world No 1 is great for our game and great for the European Tour.
“But we listen very closely and we enjoy the banter regarding the Ryder Cup and whether it will be played behind closed doors, or whether it will be postponed. What I can tell you is there is no definitive decision that’s been made yet.”