Thursday, November 19, 2009

Singh talk swayed McIlroy towards US move next year

Rory McIlroy has revealed that a conversation with Indian player Jeev Milkha Singh convinced him to join the US Tour next season.
Ernie Els, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke advised McIlroy not to accept a US Tour card for 2010 but he was swayed by Singh's endorsement of the move.
"I had lunch with Jeev during the World Match-play Championship," said McIlroy.
"He said: 'If you want to why not? You're young. It's great.' That was the conversation that probably swung it."
The 20-year-old sought as many opinions as possible before making his decision to accept his US PGA Tour card.
"I went to Clarkey (Darren Clarke), Westy (Lee Westwood), Chubby (his manager Andrew Chandler), Ernie (Els) and said: 'Look, I'm thinking about it , what do you think?'
"They said: 'There's no rush. Why don't you try and win a bit more over here (on the European Tour) before going over there?'"
However, his conversation with Singh, who competes on both sides of the Atlantic, then tipped the balance.
"I want to challenge myself against the best and the only way to do that is to play the best fields possible," added McIlroy.
"Most of the events I'll play over there will have Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker... all the best players in the world."
The Northern Irishman - he lives near Belfast - said he did not think the decision would affect his chances of winning the European Tour's order of merit in the future.
"I don't think this will be my last chance. I can learn from playing over there," added McIlroy.
"I want to challenge for majors and everything. I think that will benefit me in the long run."
If McIlroy finishes ahead of Westwood, Kaymer and Briton Ross Fisher this week, he will become the second-youngest European Order of Merit winner behind Seve Ballesteros, who topped the money-list at the age of 19 in 1976.
This week's tournament winner will take home almost £740,000 and earn a five-year European Tour exemption.
The European No 1 title-winner will earn a bonus of almost £900,000 and a seven-year Tour exemption.



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