McIlroy discusses future in America in peculiar conversation with Finchem

rory mcilroy
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Rory McIlroy is considering skipping the 2011 PGA Tour playoffs because he'd rather play more events in Europe.
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press


Published: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 | 6:14 p.m.

Rory McIlroy was surprised to learn that despite fulfilling his PGA Tour obligations this year, by not taking up membership in 2011 he will only be able to play 10 tournaments. The Players Championship would not count toward that number if he chooses to play.

Even more peculiar was the conversation he said he had with Commissioner Tim Finchem over the weekend.

Finchem was at the Chevron World Challenge to announce the PGA Tour awards and meet with the players. By the sound of it, he said the kind of things he usually does -- only it took on a funny meaning to McIlroy.

“I had a conversation with Tim yesterday (Saturday) and he said, ‘Is there anything we can do for you? We’re always happy to see you over here playing,”’ McIlroy said with a smile.

His response?

“I said, ‘Thank you very much,”’ he said with a laugh. “Look, I’m happy playing 10 or 11. I would like to play some events -- I’d like to play Bay Hill, but it just doesn’t really work. Phoenix is one I would quite like to play.”

Instead, he will play the Honda Classic (between World Golf Championships), defend his title at Quail Hollow and play the Memorial. The other seven are majors and WGCs.

As for The Players Championship?

“Undecided,” McIlroy said.

There have been reports he doesn’t like the TPC Sawgrass, although McIlroy said it’s more about the schedule. He wants to play the European Tour’s World Match Play Championship and the BMW Championship at Wentworth, held in successive weeks after Sawgrass. Then it would mean coming back to America for the Memorial.

Throw in Quail Hollow, and it could mean five straight weeks with a trip across the Atlantic in between.