Rory’s McIlroy’s decision to skip the European Tours Race to Dubai series in favour of a three and a half month break to fully recover from a niggling rib injury may leave European tour chiefs a little aggrieved, especially when he has made it clear he intends to continue his PGA Tour commitments and see out the final four FedEx Tour Championship events.
The second of these (the Dell Technologies Championship) gets underway next Friday and finishes on Labor Day in the US and has a rich history and a healthy purse of $1.57m to the winner.
Despite the change in title sponsor (you may be more familiar with it as the Deutsche Bank Championship which it was known as since 2003), the tournament boasts the top 100 players in the FedEx cup points list and McIlroy has a strong record at TPC Boston where the tournament takes place.
Twice McIlroy has been a winner at the event, the first in 2012, the Northern Irish man narrowly pipped South African Louis Oosthuizen to the title by one shot with a 20-under-par final score.
The second time was last year as McIlroy headed home a British one-two with England’s Paul Casey two shots behind.
McIlroy will need all the advantage he can get if he is to retain his FedEx cup title after a less than impressive start at the preceding event, the Northern Trust Open.
If he is going to retain his title, he is going to have to overcome an on-form world number one Dustin Johnson who led the early play in New York and is the favourite to become FedEx tour champion for the first time.
The American has claimed six titles ever since he captured the last year US Open championship and they have all been big ones, including three World Golf Championship events.
By contrast, it is coming up to a year since Wee-mac’s last title (September’s PGA Tour Championship) and injury has plagued his career since.
Despite this, the 28-year-old still finds himself inside the FedEx Cup’s top 50 and even a failed cut will still ensure he has enough points heading to the Dell Technologies.
However, he can ill afford many more slip-ups if he is to head into his rest period on a high, sitting on the couch watching the European’s Race to Dubai will hardly help matters but Rors has made it clear that if he is to get back to his best then rest is the only way to do it.
We have seen the trials and tribulations that the once unbeatable Tiger Woods is going through in order to get back to fitness and although McIlroy’s injury appears less severe than Wood’s ongoing back problem, the feeling is that he would be taking an unnecessary risk by seeing out the full European season.
Whether the European Tour likes it not, the wealth and prestige on offer by winning the PGA Tours FedEx Cup is just too much to turn down.