Rory McIlroy might be skipping the PGA Grand Slam of Golf but he has also decided to leave the European Tour without one of its biggest draws by opting not to tee it up in next month’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for the first time in his professional career.
The world No 1 virtually secured his European Tour card in just his second pro start when he finished third in the event at St Andrews in 2007.
His management confirmed that he will be resting after the previous week’s Ryder Cup.
The pro-am has been good to McIlroy, who was eighth in 2008 and second in 2009 and again last year.
However, he has a busy and highly lucrative autumn scheduled planned following the FedEx Cup series and the Ryder Cup at Medinah.
From October 9-12 he will join Tiger Woods in the eight-man, $5.3m Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, the first step in Turkey’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games, where the winner will take home $1.5m and the man finishing last a tidy $300,000.
With a potential $11m plus payday up for grabs in the FedEx Cup, McIlroy can finish the year with more to $16m in the bank in tournament earnings.
He will then “defend” the $7m, 78-man BMW Masters in Shanghai at Lake Malaren - now European Tour event and also its richest after the Majors, the World Golf Championships and the season finale in Dubai.
From there he plays Woods in a multi-million dollar matchplay exhibition in China, dubbed the “Duel at Lake Jinsha”, the following Monday and heads from there to the $7m WGC-HSBC Champions.
A possible defence of his UBS Hong Kong Open title two weeks later is also on the cards - he says it’s one of his favourite events. But he may decide to skip that to rest as he bids to match Luke Donald and win the money list on both sides of the pond.
If he tops the US money list, McIlroy could be going for the double when he attempts to capture the Race to Dubai title in the $8 DP World Tour Championship from November 22-25.
If he isn’t already burned out after that gruelling run, he can add Tiger’s Chevron World Challenge outside Los Angeles and still have three weeks left to do his Christmas shopping.
Rory McIlroy’s end of season schedule (* confirmed)
- This week - Deutsche Bank Championship, TPC Boston, Mass.*
- September 6-9 BMW Championship, Crooked Stick, Indiana*
- Week off
- September 20-23 Tour Championship, East Lake, Atlanta*
- September 28-30 Ryder Cup, Medinah, Chicago*
- October 9-12 Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals, Antalya GC, Turkey*
- Week off
- October 25-28 BMW Masters, Shanghai*
- October 29 The “Duel at Lake Jinsha”, matchplay exhibition v Tiger Woods*
- November 1-4, WGC-HSBC Champions, Shanghai*
- Week off
- November 15-18, UBS Hong Kong Open (defending champion, unconfirmed)
- November 22-25 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai*
- November 29-Dec 2 Chevron World Challenge, Sherwood CC, California (unconfirmed)