Rory McIlroy To Miss Irish Open

The four-time Major winner has confirmed that he will miss the Irish Open for the first time since 2007

The four-time Major winner has confirmed that he will miss the Irish Open for the first time since 2007

Rory McIlroy To Miss Irish Open

Rory McIlroy has confirmed that he is skipping this year's Irish Open to help keep him fresh ahead of what is the 'biggest event of his life' at the Open in his home country of Northern Ireland.

It was already thought that the four-time Major winner would be skipping his home Open (Ireland/Northern Ireland play under the same golfing union) and this is now confirmed.

The Irish Open comes two weeks before The Open, with the Scottish Open in between.

Rory will play in Scotland this year at the Renaissance Club as he is playing the week before Majors in 2019.

McIlroy told BBC Northern Ireland, "If there is ever a year when I feel I can miss this Irish Open, it's this year.

"If I was to play the Irish Open, The Open Championship would be my third event in a row.

McIlroy was the star attraction at Ballyliffin last year. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

"For me, that's not the best way to prepare for what could be the biggest event of my life.

McIlroy had previously hosted the Irish Open from 2015-2018 and won the title in 2016 at the K Club.

This will be the first year since 2007 that he hasn't played in the tournament.

This year's event is hosted by Paul McGinley and takes place at Lahinch Golf Club in Co. Clare.

McIlroy says he isn't "belittling" or "discrediting" the event by skipping it.

He won the tournament in 2016. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

"I love the Irish Open. I've supported it in my whole career," he told BBC Northern Ireland.

"The people of Ireland are still going to see me playing golf because I'm going to play The Open Championship and I'm sure a lot of people will travel from down south to see me play.

"I'm sure people are going to be upset but at the same time, if it means that it gives me a better chance to win The Open, and prepare well for Portrush, I'm going to do it.

"I'm going to make decisions that are the best thing for me. If that upsets anyone, then I'm sorry - that's not my problem, that's their problem.

"If I could pick one tournament to win this year, it would be Portrush. I would definitely have Augusta on the backburner.

"I never thought I would play a major in Northern Ireland. It would be the biggest achievement of my career if I was able to win it."

The Open returns to Royal Portrush this year for the first time since 1951.

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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x