• "I'm always going to be a European Tour member," he said
• Says he must take 'selfish view' on preferential treatment
RORY MCILROY | EUROPEAN TOUR
Rory McIlroy has quelled fears of quitting the European Tour – but says he has to take ‘a selfish view’ of the tour giving him preferential treatment.
The tour’s new chief executive Keith Pelley granted the four-time major winner a place in the season-ending Race to Dubai under ‘exceptional circumstances’, despite not meeting the minimum amount of events required, which was largely down to his ankle ligament injury that saw him sidelined for six weeks.
"I'm always going to be a European Tour member" - Rory McIlroy
Speaking in an interview with Phil Casey of Press Association Sport, McIlroy said: “I've contemplated it in the future but will I ever do it? Probably not. I feel like I owe a lot to the European Tour, they gave me a lot of playing opportunities at the start of my career and I'm pretty grateful for that.
“I'm always going to be a European Tour member, I'd say. I'm sure there is going to be some give and take in the future because at least half the Ryder Cup team are based in the States with families.
“To reduce travel we're going to have to figure something out. Whether it's reduce the minimum tournaments from 13 to 11, or whatever it is.”
With McIlroy, who currently tops the Race to Dubai standings, playing only 12 events on the European Tour this year instead of the required 13, his inclusion will have a disastrous effect on the player who finishes 111th in the standings, as they will miss out on their card for next year.
And although the Northern Irishman concedes that it will be hard on whoever that player may be, he says he must be selfish.
"It would look pretty silly in Dubai if I was leading and couldn't play. I think it was more of a common-sense move than anything else. We had to be careful, especially because I'm included in the Race to Dubai now, so No.61 doesn't get in, No.111 doesn't get his card... so it was a tough decision for them (European Tour) to make.
“For me it's more about the 111th guy, who loses his card. That's the big thing. What do I do? Send him a bit of a Christmas present? It's a hard one. I can't really think of that.
“If I was to look at it really selfishly the 111th guy could have made one more putt or cut to get his card. I just have to think about myself and take a bit of a selfish view of it, I'm afraid.”
Rory McIlroy :: European Tour stay
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