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McIlroy gets exemption for Dubai
02 Sep 2015 16:04
World number one Rory McIlroy has been given a special exemption by the European Tour in order for him to play in the lucrative season-ending Final Series.
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An ankle injury has curtailed the Northern Irishman's schedule to the extent where he would not meet the 13-event qualification standard in order to remain in the Race to Dubai even though he currently leads the rankings.
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McIlroy had to sit out the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which would have all worked towards his qualifying tally.
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However, after discussions with the European Tour, McIlroy has committed to play a further three events to take his tally to 12 and, as a result, officials have used their discretion to ensure their star name is not absent from their showpiece finale.
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"These are exceptional circumstances and I have taken this situation and the resulting decision very seriously," said chief executive Keith Pelley.
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"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.
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"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.
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"Therefore, after lengthy discussions, I have given him approval to play a minimum of 12 European Tour events this year."
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The Final Series begins with the Turkish Airlines Open at the end of October, takes in the WGC-Champions event and BMW Masters in China, before climaxing at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November.
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European Tour officials made the obvious decision to offer dispensation to McIlroy in order to protect both their short and long-term investments.
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"The suggestion of a reduced schedule and, wherever possible, avoiding back-to-back events is, in my opinion, sensible and important to allow adequate healing and reduce the chance of the complications mentioned which could clearly jeopardise his career," said Hawkes.
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