Rory McIlroy will skip the the European Tour’s flagship BMW PGA Championship this year in order to take a week’s break in the middle of what is going to be a very busy schedule for the Northern Irishman. The PGA at Wentworth would have been his fourth outing in four weeks had he played in it.
The Holywood-born golfer tees off at Quail Hollow this week with the focus shifting towards the US Open at Oakmont and the Olympic golf tournament later in the year. These schedule issues have forced the elite professionals to juggle their schedules and sacrifices had to be made.
It is undoubtedly a major blow for the European Tour, although they can take comfort in the fact that McIlroy will be at the Open de France later in the year in a show of solidarity with the tour. The 27-year-old playing at Le Golf national instead of a WGC event in the US will provide some consolation to the tour. It must be pointed out that McIlroy’s schedule is still heavily focussed on the other side of the pond, bar the Irish Open that he hosts.
The BMW PGA Championship has failed to attract stellar fields in recent times due to top players sighting its timing early in the year. McIlroy’s withdrawal will raise questions as to why the European Tour continues to hold their flagship event when they do, drawing average fields at a historic venue such as Wentworth.