McIlroy to miss Irish Open to concentrate on Open preparations

Rory McIlroy has confirmed that one of the consequences of his decision to cut back his European Tour presence will be his absence at this year’s Irish Open.

The Northern Irishman revealed late last year that he was seriously considering giving up his European Tour membership in a bid to put him in the best possible shape for the majors by focusing his efforts on the PGA Tour.

Having now taken that option and given up his membership, he revealed that the Irish Open was the first major casualty of the decision.

The main reason for that is because this year’s Irish Open takes place two weeks before the Open Championship in Portrush, and while he does want to play the Scottish Open the week before, he doesn’t want to commit to three straight weeks on the European Tour.

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

“If I was to play the Irish Open, The Open Championship would be my third event in a row. For me, that’s not the best way to prepare for what could be the biggest event of my life.”

McIlroy plans to re-join the European Tour in May but will play just four ‘regular’ Race to Dubai counting events for the remainder of the 2019.