Paul McGinley says he will have a clearer picture on whether Rory McIlroy will play in the Irish Open after the Masters. Former world number one McIlroy recently hinted he would not fulfil his 2019 European Tour membership and instead focus on trying to win the prestigious events on the American circuit.
The Northern Irishman only needs to win the Masters title to complete the Grand Slam and he has come close to landing the coveted Green Jacket, having finished in the top-10 the last five years in Georgia.
McIlroy’s plans could potentially see him skip the Irish Open at Lahinch, which takes place from July 4-7, but tournament host McGinley says he will have a better idea of what the 29-year-old’s availability will be when the first major of the season is over.
“It’s always a blow when Rory McIlroy doesn’t play,” he said at a Shannon Chamber lunch for local business leaders at Dromoland Castle Hotel in Co Clare. “He’s one of the superstars of the game. He’s been front and central in the Irish Open for the past four or five years, he’s a huge draw and we’d love to have him.
“But at the same time, I am not going to put any pressure on him. His focus at this moment in time, rightly so, is trying to win the Masters. And whatever he has to do to win the Masters, he’s right to get that in place. I think we will have a little more clarity after he plays the Masters.”