McIlroy’s Ryder Cup dreams see him rejoin Tour

Rory McIlroy has given the European Tour a big lift with confirmation he has rejoined the Tour.

The decision, coming just days before the May 1st automatic cut-off date for membership, means McIlroy will now be fully eligible to contest July’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club as the current World No. 4 hinted earlier this year.

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy (Credit: European Tour)

A European Tour official confirmed McIlroy paid the annual membership fee just prior to the end of April.

The confirmation also comes after McIlroy’s comments last November in Dubai when he told reporters he wanted to compete in the best competition in the world week-in and week-out ‘for the most part of the season in America’.

It was for this reason, McIlroy elected for the first time in his career to commence a new year on the PGA Tour in Hawaii and not on the European Tour’s ‘Middle East Swing’ as he had done for all but one year of his pro career.

McIlroy’s decision to rejoin the European Tour now makes him eligible to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team with the qualifying process to commence from September 22nd, 2019 at the close of the BMW PGA Championship.

Last December, European Tour CEO Keith Pelley had flown to Belfast to meet with McIlroy and advise him that if he did not rejoin the Tour there are rules in place stating he could not become a future European Team captain.

“Rory and I chat regularly and we will continue to chat but yes, there are implications should Rory not take-up European Tour membership,” said Pelley last December when asked about McIlroy’s membership status.

Membership implies also he must play at least four regular European Tour events a year outside of the majors or World Golf Championships to be eligible for selection.

Along with the July 11th starting Scottish Open, the four-time Major winner has already confirmed he will compete in the August 29th commencing European Masters in Switzerland and the following month’s BMW PGA Championship.

To make up the mandatory four events, McIlroy will probably add one of the three end-of-season Play-Off Series events.

Pelley will no doubt be pleased McIlroy has now heeded his advice.