Report: McIlroy changes course, will keep Euro membership in 2019
Apparently Rory McIlroy isn’t quite ready to leave his European Tour card behind.
Last month in Dubai, McIlroy made waves when he announced plans to forfeit his European membership in 2019 in an effort to focus more on the PGA Tour and majors amid a revamped schedule. Such a move would mean that McIlroy would not be allowed to serve as a Ryder Cup captain or vice captain for the European squad in years to come.
“Everyone has to look out for themselves,” McIlroy said at the time. “And next year, I’m looking out for me.”
The declaration sent shockwaves through the European Tour offices, and according to an Irish Mirror report prompted the circuit’s CEO, Keith Pelley, to hop a flight to Belfast to sit down with the former world No. 1. Those talks reportedly proved productive, as McIlroy is now expected to play enough to maintain his membership on both sides of the Atlantic.
Recently revised European Tour bylaws require players to play at least four events outside of the majors and WGCs. Last month McIlroy was only ready to commit to two: the Scottish Open and Omega European Masters.
But according to the report, he’s expected to add at least another two starts from a group of possible events that includes the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, where McIlroy lives part of the year, the Irish Open, where he served as tournament host from 2015-18, and the BMW PGA Championship, the circuit’s flagship event which will now be played in September.
Currently ranked No. 8 in the world, McIlroy is expected to make his next start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he’ll make his tournament debut thanks to his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.