GOLF: Rory McIlroy will confirm BMW PGA plans soon

Pictured at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Media Day at Portstewart Golf Club are from left to right: Michael Moss, Portstewart Golf Club, Simon Alliss, European Tour, Aine Kearney, Tourism Northern Ireland, Sinead El Sibai, Dubai Duty Free and Barry Funston, The Rory Foundation
Pictured at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Media Day at Portstewart Golf Club are from left to right: Michael Moss, Portstewart Golf Club, Simon Alliss, European Tour, Aine Kearney, Tourism Northern Ireland, Sinead El Sibai, Dubai Duty Free and Barry Funston, The Rory Foundation

Rory McIlroy will confirm this weekend if he will be available to play in next week’s BMW PGA championship at Wentworth.

The World Number two is currently sidelined due a rib joint injury but he revealed during a live telephone interview in Portstewart Golf Club on Wednesday that he hoped to make the tournament next week.

The 28-year-old, whose season was disrupted by stress fracture to his ribs earlier in the year, felt discomfort during the Players Championship last weekend.

However scans have shown that the pain he felt at Sawgrass was a “low grade response” to his previous injury and is not set to keep him out for any length of time.

McIlroy said: It’s just a matter of taking a bit of time to recover and rest.

“Hopefully I will start hitting wedges by the weekend then I will be in a position to play Wentworth next week.

“I will only make that decision after I start hitting balls again at the weekend. Fingers crossed that I will be there but we have to wait and see at the minute.”

McIlroy was unable to attend yesterday’’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open media day at the Strand Course, Portstewart, venue for the 90th staging of the European Tour event in July.

However he was able to join by conference call and answer questions from leading media across Ireland.

McIlroy’s foundation ‘The Rory Foundation’ is hosting the Irish Open again this year and the Holywood golfer also confirmed that Spain’s Jon Rahm, one of world golf’s most exciting young talents would be taking part.

The World Number 12 will join McIlroy, Justin Rose and a host of the world’s top golfers at the Co Londonderry venue from July 6-9, in what will be the third of eight world class events as part of the European Tour’s new Rolex Series.

Following an impressive amateur career during which he was the number one ranked player, Rahm has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past 12 months, bursting onto the professional scene with six top 25 finishes in nine starts on the PGA Tour last season before his breakthrough win in the Farmers Insurance Open in January.

He became a European Tour member at the start of March after breaking into the world’s top 50, and finished tied third on his first start in the WGC-Mexico Championship before reaching the final of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where he took World Number One Dustin Johnson to last hole.

Rahm finished tied 27th in the Masters Tournament on his first visit to Augusta National last month, and the 22 year old is currently ranked third on the Race to Dubai after his strong start to his European Tour career.

Rahm said“As a European, it has always been an ambition of mine to be part of the European Tour and hopefully one day play in a Ryder Cup, so I can’t wait to get going.

“I have some great memories as a kid watching the Spanish players competing in the big European Tour events on TV and it will be special to be able to now play in them myself.

“Obviously Seve, José Maria and Sergio have all won the Irish Open over the years, so it will be great to try and follow in their footsteps at Portstewart. Also, I’m really pleased to support Rory and everything he is trying to do for the event through his Foundation.

“The Rolex Series is a fantastic idea on the European Tour and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.

“I’m also looking forward to playing a different style of golf on the links of Portstewart which will be valuable preparation for The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale as well.”

Tickets to see Rahm at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation are on sale at www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com