Rory McIlroy’s 2019 Schedule
Rory McIlroy has been in the news this week with talks of his upcoming calendar schedule for the 2019 season. At the moment McIlroy only has two events listed on the European Tour for next season. This is two less than the required four in order for him to maintain his European Tour membership. The 29-year-old said that he was taking the decision to play more PGA Tour golf throughout the 2018-19 season as it is non-Ryder Cup year.
“I am starting my year off in the States and that will be the big focus of mine up until the end of August and then we will assess from there, I guess my thing is that I want to play against the strongest fields week-in and week-out and for the most part of the season that is in America.” he said this week ahead of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The PGA Tour has front-loaded its schedule for next year. While also moving the PGA Championship from August to May. This will allow for some of the bigger Rolex events on the European Tour to perhaps get more coverage as they are primarily held later in the year.
Nothing has been fully confirmed by the 4 time major winner yet. Rory has stated that in order to contend in majors again while continuing his journey back towards the top of the game, this is something he feels he has to do.
Race to Dubai Winner to be Determined
The penultimate event for 2018’s Race to Dubai is the focus this week for The European Tour. The DP World Tour Championship is the eighth and final Rolex series. It is also where the winner of the Race to Dubai will be determined. As opposed to other years, this event is down to just 2 people, Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari. Molinari has a commanding lead ahead of the field but with the right results, Fleetwood can retain his crown of Race to Dubai champion.
A finish of solo second or better will guarantee Molinari wins the R2D. Fleetwood needs a victory, with Molinari finishing worse than a tie for fifth with one other player.
The bookies favourite leading into today was Rory McIlroy, which was no surprise. He loves the track and he’s never finished worse than 11th here from eight starts. He even finished ninth two years ago (his last appearance) having opened up with a 75! His chance is obvious but whether he’s quite playing well enough to chance is debatable. Last year’s defending champ Jon Rahm comes in at second favourite, just ahead of fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia. Both well capable of claiming the trophy on Sunday. However they have also had question marks over their form in recent weeks.
Most notably, world No.1 Justin Rose has decided not to travel to Dubai this week. He remains in 3rd place for the Race to Dubai . Rose offers up a chance at losing his £600,000 prize money if someone were to over take him.
Originally staged at the Seaside Course alone, the RSM Classic became a two-course tournament three years ago, leading to an increased field size.
Competitors will play both the Plantation Course and the Seaside Course in rotation over the first two days, with the Seaside Course being used for both the third and fourth rounds after the cut.
Webb Simpson heads the market and rightly so – it’s not hard to make a strong case for the Players champion, who already has a fair record here. Simpson lost a playoff to Ben Crane here in 2011. He was seventh in 2013, so we know the track suits him. Webb has been in decent form of late too.