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Singh talk swayed McIlroy US move

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy will vie with three others for the Order of Merit title in Dubai

Rory McIlroy has revealed that a conversation with Indian player Jeev Milkha Singh convinced him to join the US Tour next season.

Ernie Els, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke advised McIlroy not to accept a US Tour card for 2010 but he was swayed by Singh's endorsement of the move.

"I had lunch with Jeev during the World Matchplay Championship," said McIlroy.

"He said: 'If you want to why not? You're young. It's great.' That was the conversation that probably swung it."

The 20-year-old sought as many opinions as possible before making his decision to accept his PGA Tour card.

"I went to Clarkey (Darren Clarke) Westy (Lee Westwood), Chubby (his manager Andrew Chandler), Ernie (Els) and said: 'Look, I'm thinking about it , what do you think?'

"They said: 'There's no rush. Why don't you try and win a bit more over here (on the European Tour) before going over there?'"

However, his conversation with Singh, who competes on both sides of the Atlantic, then tipped the balance.

"I want to challenge myself against the best and the only way to do that is to play the best fields possible," added McIlroy.

"Most of the events I'll play over there will have Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker... all the best players in the world."

The Northern Irishman said he did not think the decision would affect his chances of winning the European Tour's order of merit in the future.


McIlroy is leading this year's Race to Dubai standings going into this week's concluding Dubai World Championship although Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher can also secure the number one spot.

"I don't think this will be my last chance. I can learn from playing over there," added McIlroy.

"I want to challenge for majors and everything. I think that will benefit me in the long run."

If McIlroy finishes ahead of Westwood, Kaymer and Briton Ross Fisher this week, he will become the second-youngest order of merit winner behind Seve Ballesteros, who topped the money-list at 19 in 1976.

This week's tournament winner will take home almost £740,000 and earn a five-year European Tour exemption.

The European number one will earn a bonus of almost £900,000 and a seven-year Tour exemption.

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see also
McIlroy upbeat ahead of title bid
16 Nov 09 |  Golf
Westwood chips in on 606
11 Nov 09 |  Golf
Bourdy wins after McIlroy charge
15 Nov 09 |  Golf
McIlroy eyes European top spot
10 Nov 09 |  Golf
Injury forces Casey to skip Dubai
14 Nov 09 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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