Look it's easy to beat down on Rory McIlroy for his decision to play more on the PGA Tour in 2019.  The average punter doesn't realise how much the European Tour completely and absolutely depends on him and his star power to get sponsors, bring in money and sell events.

The total reliance on Rory incorporated has become a burden and he's more or less saying "Fuck this, why cant someone else do it instead of me always?"

Keith Pelley jetting to Belfast to beg Rory not to leave just highlights the politics of it all.

Some might say "it's Rory's duty" but is it? Really?

Maybe his duty is to live a happy life with his family, bring enjoyment to us all through golf, and yes of course to represent Northern Ireland and Europe when the time comes.

If fairness to the European Tour, Rory calling it a “stepping stone” Tour wasn't the best phrasing! But everyone knows, compared to the riches and organisation of the PGA Tour, he's dead right.

Before Rory and is foundation became involved in the Irish Open, the hole had been dug and it was about to be buried.  It may soon be again if he doesn't play.  The British Masters got wallpapered by Sky Sports for a few years, but the cracks soon opened there too.

Rory playing the Tournament of Champions this week instead of his usual return in Abu Dhabi is a clear statement. I'm still fairly sure that he'll meet the criteria to keep his European Tour card but it's up to him.

“My life is here,” McIlroy said. “I have an American wife. I live in America. Honestly, I enjoy it here more. The way of life is easier. The weather. The convenience. You go to Europe and get paid a nice amount of money to start the year. I’ve done that for a decade. I want to switch it up. I’ve done it for 11 years, so I may as well do something a little different.

What the European Tour need to do now is stop whinging and throwing its toys out of the pram because Rory wont play and instead focus on the talent it has and making events successful.

“I’ve done my time. I’ve done everything I feel like I need to do to say, `OK, I’m going to make my own decisions and do what I want.’

Yes you have Rory, you go do what you feel.

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