Akron, Ohio. US Open champion Rory McIlroy is leaning toward becoming a PGA Tour member again.
The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland spoke to PGA Tour officials on Wednesday and said he would start looking for a place to live in Florida — either Orlando or the West Palm Beach area — after the PGA Championship next week.
“I feel I play my best golf over here,” McIlroy said. “I’m very comfortable in this country. Yeah, I’m definitely looking toward to coming back and playing a full schedule.”
Taking up his tour card next season would mean playing at least 15 events on the PGA Tour in 2012.
McIlroy, one of the brightest young stars in golf, gave up his PGA Tour membership after 2010, saying he wasn’t interested in the travel involved to play on the PGA and European tours, and that the FedEx Cup playoffs — a big incentive to join the PGA Tour — was too much golf at the end of the summer.
The two biggest of his three career wins came in America — a 62 in the final round at Quail Hollow in 2010, and his record-setting performance to win the US Open by eight shots at a 16-under 268.
McIlroy struggled in the wind at the British Open, however, and said after his final round that he doesn’t enjoy playing in such conditions. “I’d rather play when it’s 80 degrees and sunny and not much wind,” he said at Royal St. George’s.
Asked what changed his mind about PGA Tour membership, McIlroy said it was the British Open.
Could it have been the reaction to his comments?
“No, the weather,” he said to laughter. “I just thought about it. I feel as if my game really suits playing courses over here. You have your favorite events, and most of my favorite events seem to be on this side of the pond.”
Since he gave up his membership last year, McIlroy was only allowed to play 10 times on the PGA Tour this year, including the four majors and the three World Golf Championships. The tour later allowed him and Lee Westwood to add another tournament, provided it was The Players Championship. Both declined to play at TPC Sawgrass last year.
McIlroy has until Nov. 22 — or 30 days after the PGA Tour season ends at Disney — to apply.