McIlroy makes U-turn and considers rejoining PGA Tour

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy said Wednesday he is considering rejoining the PGA Tour, just nine months...

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland  at the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club April 10, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia. Picture: AFP.

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy said Wednesday he is considering rejoining the PGA Tour, just nine months after opting not to take up his card for the 2011 season on the U.S. circuit.

Homesickness had been the main reason for his decision to focus on the European Tour at the end of last year but he has since changed his mind, mainly due to the poor weather at last month's British Open.

"I spoke to a couple of the guys from the PGA Tour today about it, and I'm leaning towards taking my card up again definitely," world number five McIlroy told reporters on the eve of this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

"I feel as if I play my best golf over here. I'm very comfortable in this country. I'm going to look at a few houses down in <state w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Florida after the PGA (Championship)."

Asked what had prompted him to reverse his PGA Tour decision, the 22-year-old Northern Irishman replied with a smile: "Probably the (British) Open ... the weather."

After widespread laughter had died down in the interview room, McIlroy added: "I just thought about it. I feel as if my game really suits playing courses over here.

"I love Quail Hollow, Memorial, <city w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Akron. You play the Match Play, Honda, Doral, Masters. You have your favourite events, and most of my favourite events seem to be on this side of the pond.

"And my game suits it over here. I'd like to give it a go again and obviously last more than one year and really see how it goes."


McIlroy, who won his first major title by a staggering eight shots at the U.S. Open in June, clinched his maiden PGA Tour title in his rookie season last year at the Quail Hollow Championship.

However he ended his 2010 campaign by deciding he no longer wanted to play the mandatory number of tournaments required to retain his tour card in the <country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">U.S.</country-region>

"Sometimes you feel as though you have to be in America just to play the mandatory 15 and, at the start of this year, that was something I really wanted to do," McIlroy said at a corporate outing in Singapore in November.

"I did that, but I also realised it wasn't for me but then it doesn't mean to say that I don't want to play full time in the States again."

Helped by his astonishing performance during the U.S. Open at Congressional, McIlroy has become one of the biggest drawcards on the PGA Tour and is widely regarded as a future world number one.

While flattered to be showered in praise by his peers, McIlroy accepts he has a long way to go with regard to tournament wins before he can be mentioned in the same bracket as Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

"I've never paid attention to the comparisons or potential, whatever they say," McIlroy said. "All I'm doing is looking for my second major and basically looking for my fourth career win, wherever it may come.

"People make comparisons to Tiger, who's won over 70 PGA Tour events and 14 majors, and Jack, who has won 18 majors and hundreds of tournaments. I'm looking for my fourth win."