McIlroy joining the US PGA Tour next year
Rory McIlroy will join the U.S. PGA Tour next year with hopes of moving up in the world ranking. McIlroy, the 20-year-old from Northern Ireland, said on Wednesday at the Hong Kong Open that he will be competing against stronger fields in the United States, which should make him a better golfer. He already was No. 17 in the world, despite turning pro only two years ago. McIlroy made the cut in all four majors this year, tying for third at the U.S. PGA Championship in August. As a U.S. member, he will have to play 15 times next year, although that includes the majors and World Golf Championships. He's about to complete his second full season on the European Tour and goes into next week's climax of the Race to Dubai lying second in the money list behind England's Lee Westwood. "I just feel that I will become a better golfer if I also play in America," he said. "I will be playing in world-class fields with more world ranking points on offer, and the only way for me to get better is to play alongside better players. "And on paper at this moment there are 16 better players than me in the world." McIlroy's first appearance on the 2010 U.S. tour will be at the Accenture Matchplay Championship in February, and he will stay in America until after the Masters before returning to Europe for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, England in May.