Rory to miss tourney

HOUSTON. — Rory McIlroy revealed on Monday that he will skip the Par 3 Contest on the eve of next week’s US Masters golf tournament at Augusta to focus on his goal of winning the year’s first major.

“I’m not going to play the Par 3 Contest this year as it’s just too much hassle and it’s a bit of a distraction,” said the Northern Irish golfer. The four-time major winner will be making his eighth straight appearance in the Masters and only once has he not played the Par 3 Contest at Augusta National. That was five years ago in 2011 when he went into the final round of his then third Masters leading by four shots before the horrible meltdown of recording a last day 80 to tumble to a share of 15th place behind South African Charl Schwartzel.

“The year I had my best chance at Augusta, and that was in 2011 as I didn’t play the Par 3 Contest so maybe the decision not to play it this year can work in my favour,” explained McIlroy.

A year ago, McIlroy recorded his best Augusta finish of fourth behind Jordan Spieth.

However in the past two years there has been more than the normal media interest in McIlroy’s choice for his Par 3 Contest caddy. — AFP.

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