'It's Never Been Healthier' - Rory McIlroy Praises DP World Tour

The four-time Major winner thinks the Tour is in a fantastic place after the strategic alliance with the PGA Tour...

Rory McIlroy watches a drive
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are many rumblings about breakaway golf tours right now but luckily for the traditional tours, Rory McIlroy is on side and remaining loyal to his roots. The four-time Major winner tees it up in a strong Abu Dhabi field to start his 2022, as well as Dubai next week, and says he believes the European Tour, now known as the DP World Tour, has "never been healthier" after the strategic alliance with the PGA Tour that has seen golf's two biggest tours working together like never before.

McIlroy was speaking ahead of the event where he also revealed his intentions to emulate Tiger Woods' approach in the hopes of his first ever six-win season. "Honestly, I don't think it's ever been in a healthier position. I think the alliance with the PGA Tour is massive," McIlroy said of the DP World Tour.

"I think the young players that are coming through, if you're thinking of the Tour, you think of the fact that the first American ever won The Race to Dubai year in Collin Morikawa and you have these young players coming through from either side of the pond that want to play over here and travel.

"Look, I think the one disappointment for every European golf fan was The Ryder Cup last year. But I think it's never been healthier. The tournaments are getting bigger. Sponsorship dollars are coming in to support events. Players are wanting to come back and play. I think it's in a really good spot."

McIlroy also played down the current issue of who the next Ryder Cup captain will be for Rome 2023 after reports emerged that Henrik Stenson has been made to choose between the role or heading to the rumoured new Saudi-backed golf league. The decision on who the next captain will be should have been announced this week but has been delayed.

"I wouldn't want to name anyone because I wouldn't want influence it one way or another," he said. "There are a number of candidates and they would all do a wonderful job. It's not just about the one individual. There's a lot that goes into it. It's the vice captains, I want to say the whole European Tour, but Ryder Cup Europe team. That's a lot that goes into it, and look, good captains lose sometimes, and that's just the way it is. Padraig was a great captain last time, and I didn't play my part, and I'm sure the other players feel the same way.

"I don't think it matters [the delay]. It's certainly not on the players radar at all. I don't think it matters, really. It's not as if we're going up and down the range talking to each other thinking about who the captain is going to be. We are all focused on our own job of trying to play the best golf we can. I think it's more of a bigger deal to you guys than it is to us."

The six-time Ryder Cupper also spoke of his desire to one day captain Team Europe, albeit not for another two decades.

"I hope it's a long time, a long way away, but ultimately, yeah, I'd love to have a shot at it. But yeah, I mean, we're hopefully talking two decades or more."

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV