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Rory McIlroy: Coming to America?

September 30, 2009

Northern Ireland's young star Rory McIlroy made headlines Wednesday when he said that he is giving serious thought to joining the PGA Tour in 2010. Should he elect to do so, he might be subjecting himself to another round of controversy in Europe, in the manner of his having called the Ryder Cup an exhibition.

The fact is that joining the PGA Tour does not require a commitment of enough magnitude to warrant criticism in this day and age.

A PGA Tour member is required to play a minimum of 15 events, and major championships, World Golf Championship events, and the Players Championship all count toward the 15. McIlroy, 20, has played 11 PGA Tour events this year and will add a 12th at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November. He'd need only to add three tournaments to his schedule, and they could include the FedEx Cup playoff events.

Moreover, he wouldn't necessarily have to relinquish his European Tour membership. The European Tour requires 12 starts, which would include the majors and WGC events.

A schedule evenly split between the two tours would be a boon to each of them. Go for it, Rory.

-- John Strege