Rory McIlroy’s closest pursuer in the Race to Dubai says he has no problem with the special exemption given to the world No. 3 to play in this year’s Final Series.
Danny Willett, who is No. 2 in the season-long race and trails by more than $300,000, told reporters this week that if McIlroy “wins more money than me playing less events, so be it.” Willett could move to No. 1 with a victory at this week's British Masters.
Players are required to play 13 events to be eligible for the season-ending series, which features a $5 million bonus. European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley recently granted McIlroy a pass, citing “exceptional circumstances” because McIlroy missed three scheduled tournaments because of an ankle injury.
“From a personal point of view, (winning) the Race to Dubai without Rory in it wouldn’t really be that great,” Willett told reporters. “You want to play and you want to win these things when the best players in the world are playing, and if he can get more money with injuries, that’s just good golf.”
Willett isn’t the only player affected by the decision. Keeping McIlroy in the running also impacts No. 31 (exempt into 2016 Open), No. 61 (reach DP World Tour Championship) and No. 111 (retain card) on the money list.
As McIlroy told PA Sport earlier this week: “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.”
The Final Series begins Oct. 29 in Turkey.