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Published: 10:25 | 29/3/16

No Par 3 for McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is to skip the Par 3 Contest before The Masters in Augusta in order to focus all his attention on the first major of the year.

The Par 3 Contest takes place on the eve of the first round at Augusta National and is often viewed as a way for players to relax before the serious business begins.

McIlroy has missed the contest only once in seven Masters appearances - he did not play in 2011 - but he has decided against playing next week, describing it as 'just too much hassle'.

In 2011 McIlroy held a four-shot lead going into the final round only to shoot a closing 80 to finish in a share of 15th.

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

McIlroy is looking to complete a Grand Slam of major championships but believes there will be less focus on him this year compared to 2015 when he was bidding for a third major in a row.

“I already feel a little more mellow and a lot more chilled compared to the 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.”

Westwood: I let down Clarke

09:28 | 13/10/16

Lee Westwood feels he let Darren Clarke down by failing to pick up a single point for Europe at the recent Ryder Cup.

Woods out of planned comeback

08:43 | 11/10/16

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from his planned comeback at this week's Safeway Open.

Woods to return next week

15:17 | 7/10/16

Tiger Woods has confirmed he will make his return to competitive golf in next week's Safeway Open in Napa.

US regain the Ryder Cup

08:24 | 3/10/16

The United States have regained the Ryder Cup after a 17-11 victory over Darren Clarke's Europe at Hazeltine.

Clarke still believes in Europe

06:29 | 2/10/16

Darren Clarke says Europe can still retain the Ryder Cup despite a "disappointing" fourballs on Saturday.

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