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Rory McIlroy turns down PGA Tour card

Rory McIlroy has turned down the chance of U.S. PGA Tour membership for fear of burn-out, the gifted young Briton said on Wednesday.

“I am very happy in Europe and I’ll play my events over here and I’ll play the majors, the World Golf Championship events and a couple more over there (in the U.S.),” he told reporters on the eve of the PGA Championship at Wentworth.

“I don’t want to play 30 events a year and get burned out.”

The 20-year-old from Northern Ireland has rocketed to 20th in the world rankings after a string of brilliant performances.

The mop-haired McIlroy lost two playoffs on the European Tour before achieving his breakthrough victory by defeating a top-class field at the Dubai Desert Classic in February.

World number one Tiger Woods is among several players who believe McIlroy is destined for the top.

“The guy’s a talent,” Woods said earlier this year. “We can all see it, the way he hits the golf ball, the way he putts, the way he can chip, get up and down.

“He has the composure. He has all of the components to be the best in the world, there’s no doubt.”

Although McIlroy has, for the time being, declined the chance to play more tournaments alongside Woods in the U.S. he seems sure to accept a PGA Tour card in the future.

“Maybe in a few years down the line, I’ll take it up,” he said. “But not for the next couple of years.”

For now, McIlroy is looking for a marked improvement on his only previous PGA Championship appearance last year when he missed the cut.

“I think this layout is fantastic,” he said. “It is a great golf course, it is tree-lined and has got a lot of definition.

“I struggled on it a bit last year with chipping on to the greens. I found it a little difficult.”

The Wentworth greens have come in for occasional criticism in the past but McIlroy is hoping the recent wet weather in the south of England will make for improved conditions.

“There has been a little bit of rain over the weekend and that will probably make the greens putt a little better,” he said. “Nice and smooth.”

May 20, 2009


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