Rory McIlroy has responded to the remarks made by his nearest rival on the European Tour.
Danny Willett has voiced his frustration at what he sees as Rory McIlroy’s special treatment. The Northern Irishman has only played 12 European Tour events but has still been given permission to play at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Players usually need to have played in at least 13 events to compete in the final tournament that usually decides the best player on tour. Rory spent part of the season away with an ankle injury and was given ‘special dispensation’ to paricipate by tour commissioner Keith Pelley.
Willet, who has played in twice as many events as his main rival, criticised Rory’s decision not to play in last week’s BMW Masters in Shanghai. “I think having had a week off might have benefited him.”
The ranking system divides points won by the number of competitions played and you can start to see how the system can be abused. “I appreciate him playing makes a massive difference for the Tour, but certainly he has an advantage over guys who have played more,” Willett said.
“If rules were allowed to be broken all the time, then there’s no point in setting them in the first place, but in that case it’s a very difficult one to get correct and it was the first decision Keith had to make in becoming the chief executive of the Tour,” he added.
The truth of the matter is that Rory had nothing to gain and everything to lose by competing in last week’s BMW Masters. Why would he? From his point of view he was better off keeping the points and competing for the £2.1 million jackpot that’s on offer if he wins the Race to Dubai.
Rory denied he has done anything duplicitous, “I’d gladly take the trophy and they can keep the money and do whatever they want with it. It’s more about trying to win the Race to Dubai again.”
When you’re Europe’s hottest golfing export you can pretty much do what you want and I don’t think anyone can really blame the world number 3 for that.