Plan on seeing less of Rory and Rickie

Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy
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Rickie Fowler is taking some extra time off right now, while Rory McIlroy plans to trim his schedule for 2013.
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Series: Golf Buzz

Rory McIlroy is doing whatever it takes to try to win the money titles on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour this year – and what it takes is playing a whole bunch of tournaments. He won’t be trying it again anytime soon, though.

McIlroy has played 21 tournaments so far this season, and that doesn’t count the Ryder Cup. He’ll probably play four to six more times before the end of the year – meaning he’s on the course about every other week. Next year, he’s planning to knock that number down.

"I would just love to cut my schedule back even further and I think next year I will cut it down again to a max play of 22 or 23," he said in an interview published Tuesday on Golf365.com.

"It has been a great season and I am ready to be done," he added. "It is just such a long season these days."

Cutting approximately four events off his 2013 calendar would give him essentially another month off, and put him closer to the kind of schedule that his frenemy Tiger Woods plays – meaning that he’ll focus on the majors and other top events, and sit out almost everything else. That’s a shame for the fans who won’t get to see him play, but is probably smart for a fast-rising star focused on maximizing his incredible potential.

Also Tuesday, buried near the bottom of the Associated Press' weekly golf notebook was the relevation that Rickie Fowler didn’t go to the Korean Open this week to defend his first professional title because of back issues. Fowler also has withdrawn from the PGA Tour’s CIMB Classic next week in Malaysia.

Fowler has been dealing with back problems in recent months that, the AP said, aren't believed to be serious. However, his doctors have told him that traveling overseas and playing tournaments are not in his best interests right now.

Fowler has played 23 tournaments so far this year, including all four of the PGA Tour’s FedExCup playoff events. The Tour Championship in late September was his last start, and he gave no indication as to when he’ll return to action.

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