McIlroy To Play Masters Par-3 Contest With His Daughter

The Northern Irishman will be accompanied by his one-year-old daughter at the traditional Masters warm-up event

Rory McIlroy with his wife Erica and daughter Poppy after winning the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy is making the final preparations as he aims for his maiden Masters win and the completion a career Grand Slam. However, even though the achievement would surely count among the most memorable of his career, before that, he’s taking part in a tournament that’ll be special for a different reason.

Speaking at Augusta National as preparations intensify, McIlroy has revealed that accompanying him on the Par-3 Contest will be his daughter, Poppy. The 32-year-old also explained why it’s likely to be one the highlights of what promises to be an unforgettable week. He said: “It's funny. When you don't have children, the Par-3 seems like a bit of an afterthought, and then once kids arrive, it sort of becomes the highlight of the week in a way. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to it. It will be fun to get out there tomorrow and watch her run around.”

One-year-old Poppy is McIlroy's and wife Erica’s only child to date, and the Northern Irishman was in reflective mood when looking back at how his life has changed since his 2009 debut. He continued: “It’s amazing. I think back to my first appearance here in 2009, and then this is my 14th and just how quickly the time goes and the sort of evolution that life takes on and the places that you found yourself. But it's exciting. It's exciting to be back here. It's exciting to be here with my family and looking forward to everything in the week ahead.”

Despite McIlroy’s preparations for the tournament taking a hit last week, when he missed the cut at the Valero Texas Open, he is clearly doing all he can to give himself the best possible chance of winning this year’s tournament, and even made a scouting trip to Augusta National last week. Mcilroy has also played a practice round with Shane Lowry, Seamus Power and Padraig Harrington this week, and McIlroy said he's looking forward to playing the Par-3 Contest with them, too - even though he was unaware of Harrington's involvement in this year's Masters until recently.

"Shane and I spend a lot of time together down in Jupiter now that he and his family have moved down there. So, we organised that game last week. Then he texted me and said Seamus is going to join us, and that was great, and then Padraig as well. I actually didn't know Padraig was in the field, which is bad. But I guess he played pretty well in the PGA last year. Yeah, so it was really good fun. Shane and I and Padraig are going to play on the Par-3 tomorrow as well, so that will be good fun."

McIlroy is mainly looking forward to creating some memories with his family at the Par-3 Contest, though. He said: “I've had wonderful times here and wonderful memories and looking forward to creating even better memories with my family and at the Par-3 tomorrow. So, it's cool.”

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.