No dangerous precedent over McIlroy: tour chief

Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:23am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

WOBURN, England (Reuters) - The European Tour did not set a dangerous precedent by allowing Rory McIlroy to compete in the Final Series even though he has failed to play the minimum number of 2014-15 events, its chief executive said.

Keith Pelley, who took over from George O'Grady in August, told Reuters in an interview at the British Masters on Saturday that the protocol he observed in making his decision would be applied to everyone else if the situation occurred again in the future.

Asked if he had created a dangerous precedent, Pelley replied: "I totally disagree. I think if that was to happen with another player I would go through the exact same forensic analysis.

"With Rory I understood the commitments he had in America and we had external doctors verify the fact he couldn't play in more tournaments (than the obligatory 13).

"I think what we have now is a process in place to properly analyze if this situation was to re-occur and I would look at it the same and make a decision based accordingly on the actual regulations."

The Final Series, a lucrative four-tournament series that brings the curtain down on the European season, kicks off at the Turkish Airlines Open this month and ends with the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November.

World number three McIlroy, who is based in Florida but is the biggest attraction on the European Tour, ruptured ankle ligaments in a friendly game of soccer in July and the Northern Irishman's season was severely disrupted as a result.

"It was a decision we didn't take lightly," added Canadian Pelley. "We took a detailed forensic analysis of all aspects of the situation.   Continued...

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