Rory McIlroy may quit European Tour membership in 2019

Rory Mc Ilroy playing at the Nedbank Challenge

Justin Rose may not be here, but Xander Schauffele - who can curiously still win the Race to Dubai despite only teeing up once on European soil - is, and so are the likes of Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Patrick Reed.

"I guess my thing is that I want to play against the strongest fields week-in and week-out, and for the most part of the season that is in America, " McIlroy said.

Arccos Caddie - the company's award-winning A.I. platform - leveraged the personal shot data from the two players to calculate the ideal strategy on each hole of the Earth Course based on how far and accurately Fleetwood and Molinari hit their clubs. "I don't have to commit to anything until May, so I will not have played a European Tour event".

There are two main prizes on offer: the DP World Tour Championship title and the Race to Dubai crown. The emirate is also home to the $3million Omega Dubai Desert Classic - running since 1989, the tournament was the first European Tour event to be staged outside European borders and paved the way for the Tour's transformation into a year-round global competition.

Celebrating the global connectivity of Dubai and the European Tour, the list of champions since 2009 reads like a who's who of modern-era greats, including three-time victor Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson with two titles, as well as Tommy Fleetwood, Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.

For McIlroy the decision comes not only so that he can have a big off season to prepare, but also because 2019 isn't a Ryder Cup year, although he maintained that he still wants to focus on becoming a member of the Ryder Cup team in two years time.

McIlroy's future Ryder Cup captaincy prospects will be in jeopardy if he sits out the 2019 European season.

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McIlroy has played host to the past four years to the Irish Open and in the process attracting sponsors Dubai Duty Free plus also managing to entice some of the world's best to tee-up.

Arccos, the market leading golf data and artificial intelligence company, has predicted that Tommy Fleetwood will come out on top in his contest with Francesco Molinari this week when they face off at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

He added: "Right now that is all sort of up in the air, but if it were to be that I don't fulfil my membership next year, it's not a Ryder Cup year so it's not the end of the world". "It's just a matter of doing it when I need to do it most".

"The way the schedule has worked for next year, it is going to be different for a lot of guys", McIlroy said.

The more interesting part for me is that with McIlroy now skipping the Middle East swing and focusing exclusively on the PGA Tour from January-August, you sort of have the makings of an unofficial world tour. "It's an exciting analysis heading into the tournament, with both players fighting for the Race to Dubai trophy, so it will be interesting to see how close we get with the prediction".

Yorkshiremen Simon Dyson, Richard Finch, John Parry and amateur Ben Hutchinson all missed the cut ending their hopes of playing on the European Tour next season.

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