(What’s the Story) Mourning Rory, Part III
By Stephanie Wei under General

After weeks of speculation and conflicting reports about his plans, Rory McIlroy, 20-year-old Irish Phenom Destined To Be The Next Tiger Woods, has (finally) made up his mind. On Tuesday in Hong Kong he confirmed that he has joined the PGA Tour (hooray):

I want to become a better player and the best way to develop my game is to be playing more in the States and playing a worldwide schedule. I just feel that I will become a better golfer if I also play in America. I will be playing in world class fields with more world ranking points on offer. The only way for me to get better is to play alongside better players…

Translation: Sorry, European Tour, the competition and the money ain’t cutting it, so I’m moving on to play with the big boys who will actually challenge me and bring my game (and pockets) to the next level. Ouch.

But he also emphasized that he’ll structure his schedule to play on both sides of the pond, like fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington, the number-six ranked player in the world:

My decision is not that much of a big deal…The European Tour is still my home tour. I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea that I am just going away to America because that is not what I am planning.

Yeah, that’s what they all say. Check back with him in twelve months after he’s received the PGA Tour’s first-rate hospitality treatment.

[Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]