Rory McIlroy to Skip Masters Par-3 Contest to Focus on Title

March 29, 2016

Rory McIlroy has one thing on his mind these days: completing the career Grand Slam.

According to The Guardian, the World No. 3 has decided to skip the Masters Par-3 Contest in order to stay focused on capturing the only major title that has eluded him so far.

“It’s a bit of a distraction,” McIlroy said. “And the year I had my best chance at Augusta, 2011, I didn’t play the par-3 contest. So maybe the decision not to play it this year can work in my favor.”

McIlroy held a four-shot lead heading into the final round of the 2011 Masters but fell apart on the the back nine on Sunday. His best finish actually came last year, when he finished fourth, but thanks to the stellar play from some of his competitors, McIlroy said he already feels calmer heading into this year’s tournament.

“I already feel a little more mellow and a lot more chilled compared to all the hype around me a year ago,” McIlroy said. “You have the attention spread between Jordan [Spieth] going back to defend, Jason Day winning for a second week in a row and also there’s Adam Scott who has won at Augusta before and is coming off his own back-to-back wins. So there’s a lot more going on around others competing in the Masters this year already than the spotlight I found myself in a year ago.”