McGinley "disappointed" McIlroy is giving up European Tour membership

Paul McGinley "finding it hard to understand" Rory McIlroy's decision to possibly give up his European Tour membership.

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 15 Nov 2018
McGinley finds it "extraordinary" McIlroy is giving up European Tour


Former victorious European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has told how it's "extraordinary" that Rory McIlroy is willing to give up his European Tour membership in 2019.



McGinley, who skippered the 2014 European Ryder Cup side to victory at Gleneagles, penned an opinion piece for Sky Sports this week where the Irishman questioned why the Northern Irishman was not prepared to make more effort on his home Tour.

As a result of European Tour rules, should a player give up their European Tour membership then they will be excluded from ever captaining a European Ryder Cup side. 

"It's quite extraordinary that Rory's not going to play just two more events to fulfill his European Tour membership next season. It's very disappointing and it is obviously a blow for the European Tour," wrote McGinley.

"I've been racking my brains wondering how that can be. Obviously Rory sees it in other ways and has got his own rationale for that, although I'm finding it hard to understand!"


The new PGA Tour slate will make for fewer breaks between March and August, with players eyeing a significant event in each month. But as McGinley noted, with the FedExCup playoffs ending in August instead of September there could be a late-season window for players like McIlroy to return to Europe.

"You've got all of September, October, Novermber and December where the PGA Tour is played in Malaysia, Korea and various other places," wrote McGinley.

"Is Rory going to play in those rather than play in Dubai, where he has had unbelievable success and offers the exact same prize money as those events? Or is he not going to play at all over the last four months?"

McGinley also took another former No. 1 to task, questioning why Justin Rose opted out of this week's European Tour season finale in Dubai.

Rose successfully defended his title at the Turkish Airlines Open to move to third in the season-long Race to Dubai, but he skipped the final two events as reports swirled that he is planning to make an equipment overhaul for 2019.

"I think it's disappointing from a European Tour point of view, as it's our flagship event at the end of the year where the top players gather in the sun," wrote McGinley.

"He lives in the Bahamas and he's probably thinking he might not want to come all the way over here for one week, but for $600,000 (third-place bonus) as well as whatever else he would win here, it's a big call."