World number three Rory McIlroy will has announced he will not play the traditional Par 3 tournament next Wednesday ahead of the first round of the Masters in Augusta Georgia.The Northern Irishman looks to complete his Grand Slam of major tournaments by winning the Masters. He has said the tournament is “just too much hassle”.The nine-hole event is often used by players to relax ahead of the first major of the year. The Par 3 event, played over Augusta National’s short course around Ike’s Pond, often features celebrities or players’ children as caddies.Last year McIlroy was caddied by singer Niall Horan but has described the event as “a bit of a distraction”.
The 26-year-old last skipped the contest in 2011 the year he held a four shot lead heading into the final round before collapsing in the final round to finish fifteenth. McIlroy has won the US Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship on two occasions. The Masters is the final tournament that eludes the Northern Irishman from joining an exclusive group of golfers namely Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods who have won all four majors.Last year McIlroy finished a career high fourth six shots behind the champion Jordan Spieth.
McIlroy has also decided not to visit Augusta on a scouting mission and will instead arrive on Sunday night ready for practice rounds on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. McIlroy reached the semi-finals of the WGC Match Play in Texas on Sunday but was defeated by the eventual winner Jason Day.He last won in November 2015 and the successes of Jordan Spieth and Jason Day have seen him drop to third in the rankings. These three are favourites to win the famous green jacket.
The tournament takes place at at Augusta National, Georgia, from Thursday the 7th to Sunday the 10th of April.