"Of the 12 players that represented Europe in the Ryder Cup this year, Rory is the only one who is going to do that and the others have all signed up to play the minimum of four events outside of the majors and WGCs". Not the sort of news European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley wanted in the final event of the 2018 season.
The Offaly golfer shot a steady two under par 70 at the DP World Tour Championship with just one dropped shot on his card.
Rory McIlroy has revealed that he may jeopardise his chances of becoming a Europe Ryder Cup captain or vice-captain by giving up his membership of the European Tour next season. The event takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai with Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm making up a strong field.
To be fair to McIlroy, the golf calendar is undergoing a significant shift next year which is positively encouraging the superstars to spend more time in America.
"For me it's been a great season and however it goes this week, I'm still going to have lots of great memories from all of what I've done this year, and probably the best memory is what we've done together with him in France".
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Molinari became the first Italian to win a major when he claimed The Open at Carnoustie, which followed victory in the PGA Championship at Wentworth and a maiden PGA Tour title in the Quicken Loans National. 'Everything is going to be so condensed between March and August, and that is why I am taking a big off season to get myself ready. Currently, the world No. 7 is slated to play only two - the European Masters in Switzerland, and perhaps the Scottish Open instead of the Irish Open - and then will reevaluate his schedule in late August, after the PGA Tour's FedExCup playoffs. I have lived a dream year and I still van't believe it. "If I want to continue to contend in the majors and to continue my journey back toward the top of the game, then that's what I want to do".
McGinley, who has succeeded McIlroy as host of the Irish Open at Lahinch in 2019, wrote in a column for Sky Sports: "It's very disappointing and it is obviously a blow for the European Tour".
"It is a big shift but I think it is good for a lot of reasons".
The four-time major champion added that this lighter schedule was in part due to there being no Ryder Cup next year, meaning he would not be required to qualify. 'I am always going to want to play the Ryder Cup and I will try and make the team the year later.' McIlroy heads into the World Tour Championship ranked sixth in the Race to Dubai. He's won only once since the 2016 Tour Championship.
Fleetwood, his only remaining rival in the Race to Dubai, completed his bogey-free round with a wonderful 25-foot birdie putt from off the green on the par-5 18th, and finished just one shot behind Molinari at 69.