|Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tips his cap as he walks off the 18th green after finishing his third round of the British Open golf championship at Royal St George's in Sandwich, southern England July 16, 2011. (REUTERS/Kieran Doherty)
AKRON, OHIO., - It was a good day to be Tim Finchem.
With the golf world already salivating over the return of Tiger Woods to competition at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Finchem, the commissioner of the PGA Tour, got more good news: rising Irish star Rory McIlroy will likely play a lot more golf in the U.S. next year.
"I spoke to a couple of guys from the PGA Tour today about it and I'm leaning towards taking up my card again, definitely," said the 22-year-old U.S. Open champ, who is ranked fifth in the world this week. "I feel as though I play my best golf over here. I'm very comfortable in this country.
"Yeah, I'm definitely looking towards coming back and playing a full schedule over here."
McIlroy said he will look for new digs in Florida after the PGA Championship next week.
McIlroy dropped his PGA Tour privileges after the 2010 season and because of that, will have to wait until next year to renew his membership on the PGA Tour.
McIlroy was critical of the conditions and weather in Europe after the British Open last month.
When asked about "your personal life changing" -- he's been dating tennis star Caroline Wozniacki -- McIlroy said that was also a factor in deciding where to play.
"Maybe a little bit, yeah. Definitely," he said.
"If it works out that he's rejoining the PGA Tour, obviously we're ecstatic about that," said PGA Tour official Andy Pazder. "(He's) an immense talent and a personable young man. He'd be an asset for us, no question."