Rory McIlroy will be relieved to have been given a special reprieve by the European Tour, who have decided to allow the four-time major winner to play in its season-ending series.
In order to qualify for the season finale you have to play in at least 13 European Tour events over the year, something McIlroy has failed to do. After suffering ankle ligament damage in July when playing football with friends, he couldn't fit in the necessary events, missing the Scottish and British Opens to name two.
By the time the finals begin, the 26-year-old will only have played 12 events. Despite this, the tour has decided to give the leader of their rankings the green light to play.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay5
There is no doubt that having arguable the best player on the planet playing will benefit the tour and attract more fans to the season finale, and would have been a huge blow if the Northern Irishman was not involved. It has to be said that McIlroy is probably the only player that would have received this leniency.
The Tour chief executive Keith Pelley told the BBC, "I have spent the last two weeks examining ever possible solution, and I have spoken to Rory and his team, as well as independent medical advisers and some prominent players."
After saying he had taken the decision "very seriously" he continued: "I am convinced he could not commit to any further tournament participation without risking further injury and persistent weakness to the ankle in the future."
The series begins with the Turkish Airlines Open at the end of October, followed by the WGC Champions event and the BWM Masters, before climaxing in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship.