Oh dear, it's one of those rare days when I have to be serious.

New European Tour boss Keith Pelley yesterday told the world he's decided that Rory McIlroy can play in the Race To Dubai Finals series; even though Rors hasn't yet played the required number of events. And has no intention of trying to play the required 13 events even though there is still plenty of time.

Pelley was in a catch 22 situation.  On the one hand it doesn't seem right that Rory McIlroy gets special treatment and essentially a free pass to pocket the prizemoney from committed European Tour players. On the other, the Rory draw card is huge. The public want him, sponsors want him, TV wants him and the Tour desperately needs him. If Rors plays, the event is successful.

The problem however is the political and slightly underhand way Pelley has gone about justifying the decision. He is saying that "doctors" advise that McIlroy would not be able to play two weeks in a row to play enough events and qualify for the Finals as of right.

The smell of bullshit is strong around the new Tour boss! Rory gym and running videos are all over social media; he was tearing around the course at Whistling Straits and his ankle seems just fine to play the PGA Tour Playoffs.  The reality is more likely that Rory is now just way too big a global superstar to be arsed playing in the low key European Tour events concerned. It's as simple as that and poor old Pelley had to dress up an excuse to make it look believable.

Along with his PGA Playoffs commitments, to qualify of right for the European Tour Finals Rory would need to play his pick of four events from the KLM Dutch, Italian British Masters, Dunhill Links, Porsche European Open and UBS Hong Kong Open.  I know you are thinking 'Is Rors allowed to play in a Porsche event?'

“These are exceptional circumstances and I have taken this situation and the resulting decision very seriously,” Pelley said in a statement. “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.
“After reviewing and discussing all the medical reports and recommendations from orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Adair, physiotherapist Dr. Steve McGregor and our Chief of Medical staff Dr. Roger Hawkes – while at the same time recognising that Rory is a world golfer with global commitments – I am convinced that he could not commit to any further tournament participation without risking further injury and persistent weakness to the ankle in the future.
“Therefore, after lengthy discussions, I have given him approval to play a minimum of 12 European Tour events this year.”

I think I would have respected Pelley more if he said "Look, here's the way it is, we need Rory to survive, but he plays in America, so we're giving him a free pass because his presence in the Finals will make the events."

Instead an important sounding doctor is brought in to back up the politics! “From the evidence presented to me, in my view this is a potentially serious and significant injury. There is a risk of permanent instability of the ankle which could seriously affect both his golf swing - you need stability in the left ankle during the follow through – and for walking safely on uneven surfaces.

Does that doctor go on facebook or twitter?  Is he really saying the surfaces in Italy and Holland are too uneven for Rory but the ones in Dubai are just fine for that delicate ankle? Maybe because they are a paved with gold?

I think I'm giving Keith Pelley a C minus for his handling of this. And a "could do better" in the remarks column.

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