McGinley baffled by McIlroy's European Tour snub


And now Molinari is primed to win the Race to Dubai for the first time before becoming the first golfer to be awarded the Collare d'oro al merito sportivo, the highest honour conferred by the Italian National Olympic Committee.

"I guess my thing is that I want to play against the strongest fields week in and week out, and for the most part of the season that is in America", he said.

Regardless of how the PGA Tour schedule plays out, it would be a big blow to the European Tour to lose McIlroy as a member.

Players must be a member of the European Tour to be eligible to play in the Ryder Cup and, under new regulations introduced in January 2017, "players can not be a European Ryder Cup captain or a vice-captain if they decline membership of the European Tour or fail to fulfil their minimum event obligation in any season, from 2018 onwards".

Ahead of this week's DP Tour Championship, the World No.7 revealed that he may not fulfil the requirements for membership next season after the shake-up of the global calendar caused by the US PGA Championship moving from August to May.

"I will go to Crans after the Tour Championship as I am obligated to play one of the Omega sponsored events as I am not going to play in Dubai".

"I don't have to commit to that until next year so I'm starting my year off in the States". I think it doesn't matter how much you achieve in the game.

Molinari is a two-time victor on the European Tour this season and leads Fleetwood by just over a million points, meaning a top-five finish in Dubai will guarantee the Italian top spot in the standings.

However, Europe's winning skipper in 2014 does not believe the future captaincy issue is a big consideration for McIlroy.

Meanwhile, on the PGA Tour, Pádraig Harrington, Seamus Power and Graeme McDowell bring their competitive seasons to an end in The RSM Classic at Sea Island in Georgia. Assuming he qualifies for the three-event FedEx Cup playoffs, McIlroy would need just one more PGA Tour event, and he said earlier this year that he was considering adding the Canadian Open to his schedule.

"I'm always going to want to play the Ryder Cup so if that does happen, so be it, and I try to make the Ryder Cup team the year after".

"It's been an incredible season, made all the more magical by the success in the Ryder Cup".

The more interesting part for me is that with McIlroy now skipping the Middle East swing and focusing exclusively on the PGA Tour from January-August, you sort of have the makings of an unofficial world tour. A finish of solo second or better will guarantee the current leader Molinari the trophy, whereas to keep hold of his crown, Fleetwood needs a victory, with Molinari finishing worse than a tie for fifth.The round analysis conducted by Arccos could alter during the event, as the pin positions at the Earth Course may have changed and the weather conditions will be different to what they were during the original test.

McIlroy has played at least 12 European Tour events (including majors and WGCs) every year since 2008.