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VIRGINIA WATER, England – Rory McIlroy had been on the fence regarding his European Tour membership this year and it was a conversation with his wife, Erica, that changed his mind.
“I think she sort of said to me, what are you trying to do, or what sort of point are you trying to make?” McIlroy said on Wednesday at the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour’s flagship event.
But if Erica McIlroy set the Northern Irishman back down a path to tour membership it was the circuit’s chief executive Keith Pelley that secured his status.
“The rule was that you have to play an extra two events if you don’t play your home open,” said McIlroy, who skipped this year’s Irish Open because of scheduling issues. “Pelley and I sat down and I said, ‘Keith, I can’t possibly do that.’”
McIlroy said Pelley countered with a proposal that would allow the 30-year-old to play three of the circuit’s Rolex Series events instead. “I said, ‘Done, 100 percent done.’ Once we had that conversation, it was totally fine,” McIlroy said.
McIlroy played the Scottish Open and this week’s BMW PGA Championship, which are both Rolex Series events, and plans to play the season finale in Dubai in November. He also has stops scheduled this season at next week’s Dunhill Links Championship and the new Zozo Championship along with the WGC-HSBC Champions before taking an extended break in December and January to prepare for 2020.