Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Home Sport Golf

Rory McIlroy confirms ANOTHER start after his play-off schedule influenced by 'outside expectation'

Rory McIlroy has added another start to his end of year schedule just days after admitting that his decision to tee it up in the end of season FedEx Cup play-offs was heavily influenced by 'outside' factors.

McIlroy's play-off hopes ended at the BMW Championship but he's now going to play at next week's British Masters, a European Tour event hosted by Lee Westwood in Newcastle. The last time McIlroy played in the tournament was in 2008 - the same year that he last went a full campaign without a single victory.

And his presence at next week's event means he now has two chances - at the British Masters and the Dunhill Links - to avoid completing 2017 without a solitary win.

“Teeing it up next week gives me one more chance to end 2017 on a high,” McIlroy said in a release. “If I can sign off the year with a win or two in Newcastle and then St. Andrews, I would take so many positives into my six-week recovery period when I am going to reset mentally and physically and concentrate on getting myself in the right shape for next year.”

Meanwhile, McIlroy last weekend said that his decision to play in the first three FedEx Cup play-off events was made with consideration of external influences.

He hinted that he might draw his PGA Tour season to a premature end, citing a rib injury, after his 22nd place finish in the USPGA Championship.

However, when the Play-Offs arrived, there was McIlroy, finishing a tie for 34th in New York. A missed cut at the Dell Championship followed and so the 28 year-old went into last weekend's BMW Championship needing to finish in the top four to make it into the Tour Championship. A tie for 58th, however, was nowhere near enough.

It's been an uncomfortable few weeks for the world number four, who revealed he was under pressure from elsewhere to try his hand at end-of-season success.

“Some decisions aren’t completely up to the individual,” he said. “There was outside expectation from elsewhere. I played these events for two reasons: thinking that I still had a chance, but also trying to fulfill obligations elsewhere. So there was two parts of it.”

Rory, of course, signed a £77 million deal to use Taylormade clubs at the start of this season and has another endorsement to promote Nike clothing and other products.

McIlroy didn't specify whether it was his sponsors or other factors that encouraged him to continue playing.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph