RORY MCILROY has the Ryder Cup on his mind as he tries to win the £3 million (€3.42 million) British Masters.
The four-time major winner added this week’s tournament to his schedule after missing out on last week’s Tour Championship.
McIlroy finished 58th in this year’s FedEx Cup standings. That meant missing out on a trip to East Lake, but gave him the chance to join British Masters host Lee Westwood and his European Tour peers at Close House Golf Club in Newcastle.
More importantly, it means he can play in next year’s Ryder Cup guilt free.
“I want to play Ryder Cup next year,” McIlroy said. “So obviously got to play my five events in Europe. So that was a big decision into that (playing this week).”
McIlroy failed to fulfil his minimum number of European Tour events in 2015 when he injured his foot.
He is playing this week and next week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and will then restfor the remainder of the season to try to get over a recurring rib injury that has hampered his season.
The 28-year-old took time off after The Players Championship, but admits he should have taken more:
“I just haven’t given myself that little more prolonged length of time to let it fully heal and let it feel 100 percent,” McIlroy said. “I actually don’t feel that far away. I don’t feel like I can go out there all day and practice. I feel at some point, I’d have to take a bit of time to let it rest, and I can feel it sort of stiffening up and getting a little bit sore. It’s not as if I can go full bore at it like I want to.
“Hopefully by giving it that six-week or eight-week rest, I’ll be able to fully practice and prepare.”