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Rory McIlroy ready to commit to European Tour after crisis talks with Keith Pelley

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Last month, news emerged that Rory McIlroy was set to give up his European Tour card, but it now looks as if the Irishman has had a change of heart.

European Tour boss, Keith Pelley, is said to have flown to Belfast for crisis talks with the four-time major winner, and McIlroy is now ready to commit to an additional two European Tour events in 2019 to secure his card.

The 29-year-old had not been set to feature on the European Tour in 2019 until July, but there is now an excellent chance that McIlroy will compete in an event in the middle east in January, and it also opens up the possibility for him to feature at the Irish Open in July.

McIlroy had previously come under fire from some quarters, including Paul McGinley who is on the European Tour board, for what they felt was disloyalty to the European Tour. The four-time major champ’s remark that “Next year, I am looking out for me” did little to improve relations, but it appears as if McIlroy, as he has done in the past, has backed down from his original headstrong position.

In 2016, the 29-year-old was backed into a corner over who he would choose to represent at the Olympic Games. McIlroy eventually declared for Ireland, but later withdrew from the games, and then took a swipe at those who were disappointed with the move, claiming, “it’s not my responsibility to grow the game.”

It appears that this latest U-turn from McIlroy continues the trend of the 29-year-old opting to temper his original views or intentions in the face of pressure.

GolfWRXers, do you feel McIlroy should be more mindful in his pressers or do you find his honesty refreshing?

Let us know what you think!

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at gianni@golfwrx.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. BAR

    Dec 19, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    I feel like those “crisis talks” included some pretty sensational perks. The schedules changed dramatically for 2019 and he can make a fortune in the states, playing against a field he feels is more competitive. I don’t think he “owes” anything to the European Tour, but if he can slip in two more events to maintain his card, that sounds pretty reasonable. Euro Tour would lose a HUGE celebrity if he stopped playing, so it’s in their best interest to incentivize his participation, in whatever form that would take.

    On the topic of “do you feel McIlroy should be more mindful in his pressers or do you find his honesty refreshing?” I feel like journalists in the audience need to call players out more. I know that could have significant professional repercussions, but when a golfer criticizes a course for being “unfair” – i.e. Ian “Pouter” or when Rors says he’s finally got his driver dialled in but it doesn’t matter because he’s going to have to replace it on Monday with “something new”, I feel like there needs to be some probing on that kind of stuff to call them out one their own smack talk. How could there not be any strong follow up questions to Rory stating he’s thinking of abandoning his home tour?

  2. Point misser

    Dec 19, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    No one in the USA likes Rory

    • fukU

      Dec 20, 2018 at 1:51 am

      I think you are confusing Rory with Point misser, and the USA the universe.

  3. JThunder

    Dec 18, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    “Crisis talks” – dictionary anyone?

    Is the European Tour putting all their eggs in one basket, like the entire golf world did with Tiger? We learn nothing from the past.

    • David

      Dec 19, 2018 at 10:23 am

      Honesty is always a good thing, unfortunately for Rory his honesty displays his lack of humility and thankfulness for the riches the game of golf has given him. Whether he plays the PGA or Euro tour, doesn’t matter, he should always do what is best for his health and life balance. But if it is for life-balance, then it should be communicated as such, and not stated as if he were a teenage child “looking out for #1”. I personally think he’s a good guy, but definitely lacks that appreciate for all he’s been given by the game of golf.

      • Willem

        Dec 20, 2018 at 12:46 am

        World class sportsmen are given raw talent by their genes and hard work (whether it is recognised as such by casual onlookers or not) gives opportunities in the chosen sport. Then, any success comes through sheer mental strength. This is the same in all sports.

        I fail to see why any sportsman should appreciate the money or lifestyle or give back to the game. It is their profession and other people (and the tours) make millions off of the players hard work and talent, employ thousands and their efforts entertain hundreds of millions.

        I don’t feel I have to give back to my profession. Why should a golfer?

    • fukU

      Dec 20, 2018 at 1:49 am

      You mean when the entire golf world put all its eggs in the Tiger basket, and it lead to the largest increase in interest, and participation that the game had ever seen?

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Schedule postponements and cancellations on the PGA Tour, European Tour plus the four majors: What we know so far

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With the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the PGA Tour and European Tour have taken steps to cancel or postpone several events. Action has also been taken on some of golf’s major championships, and here we’ll summarize what decisions have been made so far altering the 2020 calendar.

The Majors

Both The Masters (April 9-12) and PGA Championship (May 14-17) have been officially postponed with hopes of rescheduling both events for later in the year. According to the NY Post, the US Open is also set to be postponed and rescheduled for “later in the summer”, though as of Tuesday, March 31 the USGA has made no formal announcement confirming this news.

The R&A has of yet made no announcement on this year’s Open Championship which is due to take place from 16-19 of July.

  • April 9-12: The Masters – Postponed
  • May 14-17: PGA Championship – Postponed
  • June 18-21: US Open – NY Post reporting postponed; not yet confirmed by USGA
  • July 16-19: Open Championship – On Schedule

PGA Tour

Since cancelling the Players Championship mid-event, the PGA Tour decided to cancel several subsequent tournaments. As of now, the earliest return date for the PGA Tour is May 21 at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship which is played the same week as the WGC-Match Play was postponed with plans to reschedule the event.

  • March 12-15: The Players Championship – Cancelled
  • March 19-22: Valspar Championship – Cancelled
  • April 16-19: RBC Heritage – Cancelled
  • April 23-26: Zurich Classic of New Orleans – Cancelled
  • April 30-May 3: Wells Fargo Championship – Cancelled
  • May 7-10: AT&T Byron Nelson – Cancelled

European Tour

Along with the cancelled WGC-Match Play and confirmed postponed major championships, the European Tour has postponed a further seven events. Unlike the PGA Tour, the European Tour has chosen to postpone almost every upcoming event for the time being instead of cancelling. The GolfSixes Cascais is the only confirmed cancellation as of now.

On Monday, the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open became the latest tournament to be postponed meaning the earliest possible return date for action on the European Tour is now June 4 at the Trophee Hassan II.

  • March 12-15: Magical Kenya Open – Postponed
  • March 19-22: Hero Indian Open – Postponed
  • April 16-19: Maybank Championship – Postponed
  • April 23-26: Volvo China Open – Postponed
  • April 30-May 3: Andalucia Masters – Postponed
  • May 9-10: GolfSixes Cascais – Cancelled
  • May 21-24: Made in Denmark – Postponed
  • May 28-31: Irish Open – Postponed
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PGA Tour to provide financial assistance to players and caddies during Coronavirus pandemic

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The PGA Tour has announced plans to compensate both players and caddies after several Tour events were cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

In a memo sent to players on Friday, it was explained that due to IRS regulations, the Tour is not allowed distribute un-earned financial benefits to members, but that the organization has developed some programs to help its players during the ongoing pandemic. Players and caddies will receive financial assistance from the PGA Tour with one of the primary programs to help players based on their current FedEx Cup standing.

Players can receive up to $100,000 in bonus earnings during this period which will subsequently be removed from their season-ending bonus after play has been restarted.

Tour pros will also be entitled to request advance payments (up to $30k) for future Monday pro-am spots and advances on future earnings, while the Tour also plans on allowing players to withdraw funds from their retirement plans based on financial need.

“Playing opportunities equate to financial opportunities, and we are concerned about the toll that canceled tournaments are having on some of our members” – Tyler Dennis, a senior vice president and the Tour’s chief of operations.

Included in the memo were caddies, who are entitled to a partial mid-season distribution of an endorsement program and who can also request financial support from the Caddie Benevolent Fund.

Play is not set to resume on the PGA Tour until May 21 at the earliest.

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GolfWRX AUA (Ask Us Anything): TaylorMade fitters are answering YOUR questions!

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With the downtime, #teamtaylormade are ready to talk golf!

Go to the link below to ask any TM specific questions you may have. TaylorMade fitters from across the US will be diving in the forums to answer questions, talk golf and get you dialed. Take this opportunity to go TM crazy.

Team TaylorMade fitters that will be participating:

  • Chris Clegg, Georgia
  • John Junkin, Pennsylvania
  • Lewis Schnauble, Maryland
  • John Tabor, Michigan
  • Freddy Villarta, California
  • Matt Zerishnek, Pennsylvania
  • James Albright, Arizona

Join the discussion here.

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