However, after discussions with the European Tour, McIlroy has committed to play a further three events to take his tally to 12 and, as a result, officials have used their discretion to ensure their star name is not absent from their showpiece finale. “These are exceptional circumstances and I have taken this situation and the resulting decision very seriously,” said chief executive Keith Pelley. “I have spent the last two weeks examining every angle and every possible solution and I have spoken with Rory and his team, as well as independent medical advisers and some prominent players. “After reviewing and discussing all the medical reports and recommendations from orthopaedic surgeon Dr Andrew Adair, physiotherapist Dr Steve McGregor and our chief of medical staff Dr Roger Hawkes – while at the same time recognising that Rory is a world golfer with global commitments – I am convinced that he could not commit to any further tournament participation without risking further injury and persistent weakness to the ankle in the future. “Therefore, after lengthy discussions, I have given him approval to play a minimum of 12 European Tour events this year.” The Final Series begins with the Turkish Airlines Open at the end of October, takes in the WGC-Champions event and BMW Masters in China, before climaxing at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November. European Tour officials made the obvious decision to offer dispensation to McIlroy in order to protect both their short and long-term investments. “The suggestion of a reduced schedule and, wherever possible, avoiding back-to-back events is, in my opinion, sensible and important to allow adequate healing and reduce the chance of the complications mentioned which could clearly jeopardise his career,” said Hawkes. World number one Rory McIlroy has been given a special exemption by the European Tour in order for him to play in the lucrative season-ending Final Series. An ankle injury has curtailed the Northern Irishman’s schedule to the extent where he would not meet the 13-event qualification standard in order to remain in the Race to Dubai even though he currently leads the rankings. McIlroy had to sit out the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, the Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which would have all worked towards his qualifying tally. Press Association
It’s a mixed card of five flat races and three over jumpsThe first at the Limerick Junction course is off at 4.40pm.
Carles Puyol Ex-Barcelona captain Carles Puyol could be set to join Chelsea legend Frank Lampard at Major League Soccer side New York City.The 36-year-old retired from football at the end of last season after 15 years in the Barcelona first-team.The Spaniard was then appointed as an assistant to director of football Andoni Zubizarreta, but in January 2015 he resigned from the post after Zubizarreta was sacked.However now, according to Mundo Deportivo, Puyol could be about to make a shock return to football, with New York City ready to offer him a contract.The MLS side, who are owned by Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, are currently making their debut season and sit fifth in the Eastern Conference.The club have already signed Puyol’s former Barcelona team-mate David Villa, while ex-England international Lampard is due to join up with the squad in July when his loan with Manchester City ends. 1
The sun has finally broken through the freezing fog that shrouded the region. It coated the roadways and trees early Wednesday with a layer of rime ice, creating a winter wonderland once again.We should be done with freezing temperatures beginning later today. And instead of warmer air aloft, it will be colder up above and warmer down here, where we live. So we actually got out of this arctic deep freeze without too much of a hassle or damage.Rain begins today and there’s a risk of showers through the weekend but everything will be on the light side. Not your typical winter rain, that’s for sure. We should be above freezing before the rain begins, except the typical areas near and in the Columbia River Gorge.We did manage another nighttime low in the 20s Tuesday night in Vancouver, which if you count Wednesday night’s low, makes it ten days in a row below freezing. We had five days with highs below freezing. Remarkable, yes,and good for a quick note on the Christmas card back home to relatives.I mean really now, most folks in the rest of the country think we are wimps who just chatter about the rain.Just for fun, for the first 11 days of the month, we have had a high of 57 degrees on December 1, and a low of 9 on Dec. 8. Our average mean temperature for the month as of Wednesday afternoon was only 29.5 degrees, 12.2 degrees below normal. Precipitation was only a paltry .83 of an inch, 1.19 inches below average.