Published: Sat, January 05, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Rory McIlroy explains PGA TOUR focus

Rory McIlroy explains PGA TOUR focus

Rory McIlroy knew it, too, as he kicked back in his easy chair at this week's Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, offering a hymn to the comfort of wealthy American living.

The 34-man field in Hawaii is restricted to 2018 winners on the PGA Tour.

With just one victory in the past two years and no major titles since McIlroy captured his fourth at the PGA Championship in 2014, McIlroy has also been looking to change up his approach.

The four-time major champion was reported to have met European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley in December following his comments that he would not be playing enough tournaments to retain his European Tour membership this year.

FILE - In this November 17, 2018 file photo, Rory McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, looks at his shot on the 1st hole during the third round of the DP World Tour Championship golf tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

"Really my 15-20 feet range is what I need to work on if you look at the stats from previous year", McIlroy said.

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Instead of playing in the Middle East, he's in Kapalua trying to fix the fact he ranks 186th in the FedExCup having played just one event this season at the World Golf Championships - HSBC Champions in China.

"I want to play against the best players in the world". It's tough. I still want to support the European Tour, and I talk about this loyalty thing with Europe. "I've done it for 11 years, so I may as well do something a little different", added McIlroy. The rest of the guys have played 12 PGA Tour events, and I'm playing my first or my second. But there are 21 "pure" PGA Tour events worth over $7m this season, many of them rich in world ranking points. "I felt really good about that". He finished 13th in the season-long FedEx Cup standings.

The four-time major victor won't play in Europe until this summer and says it makes sense to concentrate on America where there's more ranking points and money available.

"It gets tricky when the flag's waving back and forth and I've got a five-footer and shadows", he told Golf Channel as he prepared for the tournament. "I'd much rather go down the stretch against Justin Thomas or Dustin Johnson", the Northern Irishman added. It's why Francesco Molinari is here this week.

"The ultimate goal is here (the US)".

"My focus has always been the biggest events in the world since I got into that world top 50, but then even more so now just because of wanting to travel less and wanting to spend more time at home when I can be at home and that's sort of the reason".

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