Rory McIlroy wants to get off to a fast start in this year’s PGA Tour, explaining his decision to begin 2019 at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
McIlroy, 29, usually starts the year on the European Tour but has opted for a greater focus on the United States this year.
The four-time major champion from Northern Ireland said he wanted to take the chance to make a better start to the year, beginning at Kapalua.
“I wanted to get off to a good start, an early start,” McIlroy told a news conference Wednesday. “I feel like every time I show up to the start of the year on the PGA Tour other guys have played nearly 10 events and I’m sort of playing my first or my second one.
“So I wanted to try and start a little bit early, get a few more starts under my belt before the big bulk of the season kicks in.
“It’s going to be nice to get a faster start and hopefully be up in the FedEx Cup from the beginning.”
McIlroy’s 2019 schedule has been a controversial topic ever since he indicated he might not retain his European Tour membership.
It appears now that McIlroy will play the four European Tour events required to keep membership, but, he noted Wednesday, he’s a permanent U.S. resident as of last year and will place more of an emphasis on staying in America.
“I made the decision that this is where my life is going to be, this is where I’m going to live,” McIlroy said. “Having to hop back and forth from the states to Europe and back again, there’s not a lot of that going on which is a good thing. My focus has always been the biggest events in the world since I got into that top 50, but even more so now because of wanting to travel less and wanting to spend more time at home.”