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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Rory Starts His US-Centric Year

When Rory announced his intention to play less on the European Tour this year, to say it caused a bit of a stir overseas would be an understatement. I'm linking to Rex Hoggard's article about Rory's decision because it goes into some detail about why it's happening.

Rory in media tent

Personally, I think Rory's logic is quite sound. He's trying to play deeper fields with more world ranking points and, as Hoggard records:
“Taking up residence in the U.S. last year, being a permanent resident, I made the decision that this is where my life is going to be, this is where I'm going to live,” McIlroy said on Wednesday at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. “My focus has always been the biggest events in the world since I got into that top 50, but even more so now just because of wanting to travel less and wanting to spend more time at home when I can be at home.”
You can't be much more blunt than that, and I think it's good -- if not popular -- reasoning. No matter how fancy your travel accommodations, large time zone changes take their toll. And let's be honest about it, Rory is much more comfortable on PGA Tour setups where the conditions are pretty much the same from week to week. I think the variety of European Tour events can result in players having more skills, but most of the big events on both tours are closer to PGA Tour course setups.

Playing primarily on the PGA Tour should make him better equipped for the big events, both in terms of course familiarity and less physical stress. We'll get a chance to see if he can truly reap those benefits as the year goes on.

Hoggard's article is really good, so I'd recommend you pop over and read it. I'm going on record that I think he's going to have a nice comeback this year since he's got his personal life and his health settled, and this week should be a good start for him.

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