New Euro Tour chief hails great ambassador McIlroy

Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:04pm EDT
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By Bernie McGuire

BAD GRIESBACH, Germany, (Reuters) - New European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley has described four-times major winner Rory McIlroy as "a great ambassador for world golf".

The 26-year-old Northern Irishman's season has been marred by an ankle injury sustained during a game of soccer with his friends and he has been overtaken by American Jordan Spieth and Jason Day of Australia at the top of the rankings.

Pelley says McIlroy is a "terrific guy" and someone the European Tour is counting on "for many more years to come".

"Rory is one of the greatest ambassadors to the game of golf," the Canadian told Reuters in an interview at last week's European Open.

"His value to the European Tour is significant but his value to the world of golf is even more significant.

"He’s charismatic, he’s intelligent, he’s well-spoken and he's everything you want in an ambassador. We are fortunate he is a member of the European Tour."

Pelley, who took over as chief executive from George O'Grady earlier this year, said the world number three would be an integral part of his strategy going forward.

"There's no question Rory and some of the elite players are critical in the plans of the European Tour," he explained.   Continued...

Sep 27, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Rory McIlroy chips onto the second green during the final round of the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports