McIlroys fifth element


THOUSAND OAKS, Calf. – Young Rory McIlroy did his best to deflect some of the heat he’s received since turning down his PGA Tour membership for 2011, but he seemed to spark a new debate this week when he was asked about his potential schedule for next year.

McIlroy was initially limited to 10 Tour starts in 2011, down from 12 for non-members because he forfeited his status, but the circuit’s Policy Board voted last month to exempt The Players Championship from that maximum.

McIlroy, however, isn’t sure he’s even going to play the so-called “fifth major.”

“It’s just making a decision because the (European Tour’s) Volvo World Match Play is the week after The Players and then you’ve got the BMW PGA the week after that,” McIlroy said. “So it’s really if I want to play four weeks in a row.”

McIlroy said he will defend his title at the Wells Fargo Championship and play the Memorial and Honda Classic as well as the World Golf Championship events.

For the record, McIlroy plans to play the other four majors.