Rory McIlroy is unsure of maintaining his European Tour membership for 2019 as he currently has only two events on his schedule.
Players are required to enter four European Tour events in a season to maintain membership, but McIlroy doesn’t appear concerned, revealing his ambition to take on the PGA Tour’s stronger fields.
The four-time major champion added that this lighter schedule was due in part to this being a Ryder Cup off-year, meaning he wouldn’t be required to qualify.
“I don’t know,” McIlroy told BBC Sport when asked about keeping his European Tour membership. “Right now, I’ve got two events on my schedule in Europe.
“I don’t have to commit to that until next year, so I’m starting my year off in the States. That’ll be the big focus of mine up until the end of August and then, obviously, we will assess from there.
“I’ve got a couple of pure European Tour events on my schedule up to the end of August. I guess my big thing is I want to play against the strongest fields week in, week out, and for the most part of the season, that is in America.
“And if I want to continue to contend in the majors and continue my journey back towards the top of the game, that’s what I want to do.”
Solid range session today. New driver feels good. #DPWTC pic.twitter.com/tFyLySyy8m
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) November 13, 2018
He continued: “Right now that’s all up in the air. But if it were to be that I don’t fulfill my membership next year, it is not a Ryder Cup year so it is not the end of the world.
“I’m always going to want to play the Ryder Cup, so if that does happen, so be it, and I try to make the Ryder Cup team the year after.
“It is a big shift but I think it is good for a lot of reasons.”
McIlroy’s absence from the European Tour would see him give up the opportunity to captain Europe at the Ryder Cup in the future, with the role — and that of the vice-captains — requiring players to secure membership in every season.