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Fair play or a lack of loyalty? Golf fans split over Rory McIlroy's decision to skip Irish Open ahead of the Open Championship at Royal Portrush

Local golf fans are divided over Rory McIlroy's decision to miss out on this year's Irish Open.
Local golf fans are divided over Rory McIlroy's decision to miss out on this year's Irish Open.

Rory McIlroy's decision not to tee it up at this summer's Irish Open has been met by a mixed response from his legion of home supporters.

The world number eight has openly made mounting a serious challenge at this summer's Open Championship his top priority. The tournament is returning to Northern Ireland after an absence of 68 years and McIlroy knows that playing for arguably the biggest prize in golf on home turf could be the biggest week of his career.

It's through that prism that his choice to skip Lahinch was made. And with the Claret Jug in sight, the Open factor has bought the Holywood hero favour from some golf fans who back his decision as smart-thinking.

However, some supporters felt that McIlroy's decision should have been made with more consideration for the Irish Open and tournament host Paul McGinley.

McIlroy did concede that his decision was likely to be a magnet for some negative reactions but insisted that the prospect of a second Open Championship victory was worth it all.

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