Rory McIlroy considered quitting European Tour

The four-time major winner must remain a member to play in Ryder Cups

Credit: Kevin C. Cox (Getty)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The four-time major winner cited travelling as a downside of playing both tours, with recent figures showing that McIlroy travelled 350 hours this year and visited 118 airports.

Rory McIlroy considered quitting European Tour

Rory McIlroy has revealed he thought about quitting the European Tour due to scheduling and travel commitments.

The Northern Irishman is a member of both the PGA and European Tours, but failed to meet the requisite 13 events needed to compete in the latter's season-ending Final Series.

An ankle injury prevented him from competing in the required number of tournaments, but McIlroy, who later got an exemption for the Final Series, suggested the travelling required to play on both tours is too demanding.

"Have I contemplated it [quitting]? Yes, I have. Would I do it? Probably not," he told BBC Sport.

"You know, getting sick of the travel, getting sick of having to cross back and forth between tours.

"The players on the European Tour have had endless dialogue about reducing the number of tournaments that you need to play."

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Statistics released recently show that the four-time major winner has struck 16, 500 balls, travelled for 350 hours and visited 118 airports this year.

McIlroy's injury prevented him from adding to those figures and defending his Open Championship title at St Andrews.

Despite having not met the required number of European Tour events to compete in the Final Series, new tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley granted McIlroy an exemption due to the circumstances surrounding his lack of playing time.

In a statement, Pelley said: "I have spent the last two weeks examing every angle and every possible solution and I have spoken with Rory and his team, as well as independent medical advisers and some prominent players."

Since suffering his injury, McIlroy has slipped from first in the Official World Golf Rankings to third.

Remaining a member of the European Tour is also a must if he wishes to continue competing in the Ryder Cup.

Only players who are members of the tour are eligible to represent Darren Clarke's side in Hazeltine next year.

McIlroy added: "I feel like I owe a lot to the European Tour, they gave me a lot of opportunities at the start of my career. I will always be grateful for that.

"I love the Ryder Cup, I always want to play it, so that's something that'll keep me a European Tour member, along with a lot of the great plans they've got."

Will Medlock graduated from UEA with a degree in Film and Television before completing a Masters in Sports Journalism at St Mary's in London. Will has had work published by The Independent and the Rugby Paper.