Rory McIlroy has made the decision to defend his FedExCup title having initially hinted at taking the remainder of the season off to allow a rib injury to heal.
McIlroy suggested that he might curtail his rollercoaster 2017 season when speaking in the aftermath of the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, a tournament he entered as favourite but could only finish tied 22nd.
The four-time major winner suggested he might not play in the remaining PGA TOUR events and the end of season FedExCup Series by saying: “You might not see me until next year.”
But a tweet from McIlroy raised the possibility he will feature in the FedExCup series—of which he is the defending champion—after he posted a competition of which the winner will play with him in a pro-am at the BMW Championship in September.
McIlroy’s management subsequently confirmed to the BBC that he plans to play in the FedExCup Series and put back his planned recovery time to overcome the rib injury that has troubled the world number four’s season.
A tumultuous season
It has been a real mixed bag from McIlroy in 2017, a year in which he has transitioned from Nike clubs and equipment to TaylorMade M2 clubs. It has been a period of change and one which has taken time to get right.
McIlroy also split with long-term caddie JP Fitzgerald, who he had enjoyed much success with including the four major victories in the 2011 U.S. Open, 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship and 2014 Open Championship.
That relationship turned slightly sour and the decision to split came despite McIlroy recovering from a bad start to finish tied third behind Jordan Spieth’s in this year’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
Close friend Harry Diamond stepped in on the bag, the pair having had a long lasting relationship and one which reportedly saw the new caddie (for the remainder of the season) act as McIlroy’s best man at his wedding earlier this year.
The tumultuous 2017 season has seen McIlroy finish in the top 10 in seven tournaments, including the Open and more recently in the Bridgestone Invitational, but he has failed to register a win. His drought in majors now stretches three years.
It has been a fairly sparse season, however, for McIlroy. He has competed in just 13 events all year—missing several flagship events in the process—with the rib injury clearly troubling him throughout the season.
“I can go out there and play and shoot decent scores, but when I come off the course I feel my left rhomboid going into spasm,” he was quoted as saying.
McIlroy will be looking to rediscover his very best form in the FedExCup Series which he won last year to collect a £7.8 million bonus. His run to the top of the standings included winning the Deutsche Bank Championship and the TOUR Championship.
The Northern Irishman looks set to line up in the opening event of the series when the Northern Trust Open is staged from August 24-27.