LONDON: Rory McIlroy will be able to play in the European Tour’s Final Series tournaments after being given special exemption due to his ankle injury.
The injury, sustained in a football kickabout with friends in July, meant that the world No.1 was unable to meet the 13-event qualification standard in order to remain in the Race to Dubai even though he currently leads the rankings.
The Northern Irishman had to sit out the Scottish Open, the Open at St Andrews and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which would have all worked towards his qualifying tally.
However, after discussions with the European Tour, McIlroy has committed to play a further three events to take his tally to 12 and, as a result, officials have used their discretion to ensure their star name is not absent from their showpiece finale.
“These are exceptional circumstances and I have taken this situation and the resulting decision very seriously,” said new chief executive Keith Pelley.
“I have spent the last two weeks examining every angle and every possible solution and I have spoken with Rory and his team, as well as independent medical advisers and some prominent players.
“Therefore, after lengthy discussions, I have given him approval to play a minimum of 12 European Tour events this year.”
The Final Series begins with the Turkish Airlines Open at the end of October, takes in the WGC-Champions event and BMW Masters in China, before climaxing at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November.
European Tour officials made the obvious decision to offer dispensation to McIlroy in order to protect both their short and long-term investments.