Rory McIlroy has outlined his plans for his remaining 2017 schedule, as he balances seeking a worldwide win in the calendar year, defending the FedEx Cup title he won last year and fully recovering from a rib and back injury which he suffered in January.
McIlroy said, according to ESPN, that he intends to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs as long as he is eligible, then compete in the Dunhill Links Championship on the European Tour before calling it a year in October and taking the next three-and-a-half months off.
Ace reporter @ESPNCaddie breaks news that Rory McIlroy will play FedEx Cup playoffs, then Dunhill Links, then shut it down for 3½ months.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) August 22, 2017
McIlroy, who won the Tour Championship in Atlanta last September to capture the FedEx Cup and its $10 million first-place prize, said after the PGA Championship that he might consider taking the rest of the year off to recuperate from a rib injury he first faced at the BMW South African Open. He then chose to commit to the FedEx Cup playoffs and see where that takes him. Coming into the first leg, The Northern Trust, at No. 44 in FedEx Cup standings, he will need a good performance in at least one of the first three legs (Dell Technologies Championship, then BMW Championship after this week) to get into the Tour Championship, which is reserved for the top 30 players in points at the end of the BMW Championship.
After McIlroy completes his FedEx Cup playoff run, which should be at least three tournaments barring a flare-up of the injury, his final start of 2017 will be in the Alfred Dunhill Championship, played Oct. 5-8. The event is the European Tour equivalent of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, played on three courses over four days. This means McIlroy will miss the European Tour's finale trio of events, including the DP World Tour Championship, which he has dominated in his career.