After another year jetting around the world, Rory McIlroy admitted that he has at least considered giving up European Tour membership to focus solely on the PGA Tour.
“I’ve definitely contemplated it,” he told BBC Sport on Tuesday. “You know, getting sick of the travel, getting sick of having to cross back and forth between tours. The players on the European Tour have had endless dialogue about reducing the number of tournaments that you need to play.”
Members are required to tee it up in at least 13 European Tour events, a stipulation that led Paul Casey – who lives in the States and has a 1-year-old son – to forgo his membership and cost himself a chance to play on the European Ryder Cup team.
McIlroy will play only 12 European Tour events this season because of an ankle injury suffered this summer, but he was granted an exemption into the season-ending Final Series of the Race to Dubai.
Still, after a year in which he says he visited 120 airports and spent 287 nights in a hotel room, the 26-year-old said he isn’t ready to abandon his home tour. In fact, he said he had a meeting this week with new European Tour boss Keith Pelley and that the circuit’s plans are “very exciting and very promising.”
“Have I contemplated (quitting the European Tour)? Yes, I have. Would I do it? Probably not,” he told BBC.
“I feel like I owe a lot to the European Tour; they gave me a lot of opportunities at the start of my career. I will always be grateful for that. I love the Ryder Cup. I always want to play it, so that’s something that’ll keep me a European Tour member, along with a lot of the great plans they’ve got.”