Rory McIlroy rules out return to Europe during 2020 due to Covid-19 travelling fears

Rory McIlroy has ruled out returning to Europe for the remainder of 2020 due to fears over travelling during the coronavirus pandemic.

McIlroy, who will compete in the PGA Tour’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational from Thursday, appears to have stepped out of contention for the European Tour’s Scottish Open and BMW PGA Championship in October.

The US Open in September, which is going ahead without fans, is McIlroy’s next major.

“I honestly don’t know if I see myself going back to Europe this year,” he said. “I don’t know if I want to travel, I don’t know if I want to be exposed to more things and more people.

“I’m sort of taking it week by week. I’ve got my schedule planned up until the U.S. Open, which is obviously a couple weeks after the Tour Championship, and then I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do after that.”

McIlroy said that while he understood why Lee Westwood chose not to travel to San Francisco for the PGA Championship, he would return to Europe if there was a major on the schedule.

This year’s British Open, which was due to be held at Royal St George’s in Kent this month, was cancelled due to the pandemic.

“I understand their plight. I was just saying I don’t know if I would travel in the fall and go and play some of these other events in Europe, but if it was a major championship, it would probably be different,” he said.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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