LOS ANGELES – The Northern Trust Open is Rory McIlroy’s first non-WGC start on the PGA Tour’s West Coast swing, which is more of a byproduct of the world No. 3’s schedule than an indictment of the left coast.
Although this week’s Los Angeles event is McIlroy’s first Tour event of 2016, he opened his year with two starts in the Middle East (Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and Dubai Desert Classic) and plans to play five of the next six weeks in the United States leading up to the Masters.
McIlroy has always juggled life on both the PGA and European tours since 2010 (he did give up his membership for a year in 2011) and said he values being able to play both circuits.
“You get to play in so many different countries and experience new things, which is great,” he said on Wednesday at Riviera Country Club.
McIlroy, who said last Monday marked the first time he’d spent a night in his South Florida home since last September, also made it clear he has no plans of altering his globetrotting schedule.
“The European Tour gave me so many opportunities at the start of my career and I'll always be indebted to them and I'll always go back and play, and I never see a time when I won't be a European Tour member,” he said.