Rory McIlroy handed place in European Tour Final Series

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy suffered an ankle injury while playing football with friends

Rory McIlroy has been given a special exemption by the European Tour to play in the season-ending Final Series.

An ankle injury has curtailed the world number one's season to the extent he would not meet the 13-event Race to Dubai qualification standard.

With the Northern Irishman leading the rankings, Tour officials have used their discretion to ensure the 26-year-old can compete in the season finale.

McIlroy missed the Scottish Open, The Open and the Bridgestone Invitational.

All three events would have counted towards the qualifying criteria.

McIlroy ruptured an ankle ligament playing football with friends in July.

McIlroy will keep playing football

After discussions with the European Tour, he has committed to play a further three events to take his tally to 12.

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said he had taken the decision "very seriously".

"I have spent the last two weeks examining every possible solution, and I have spoken with Rory and his team, as well as independent medical advisers and some prominent players," he said.

"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."

Dr Roger Hawkes, the Tour's chief of medical staff, said it was "sensible and important" to allow McIlroy "adequate healing to reduce the chance of complications which could clearly jeopardise his career".

The Final Series begins with the Turkish Airlines Open at the end of October and also includes the WGC-Champions event and BMW Masters in China, before finishing with the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November.