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Rory Mcilroy skips 'hassle' of traditional pre-Masters event

By Robert Jones

Rory McIlroy has opted not to play the traditional Par 3 contest ahead of the Masters, insisting that it's "just too much hassle".

The Northern Irishman, who is chasing a Grand Slam at Augusta next week having already tasted US Open, US PGA (twice) and Open glory, said the nine-hole event - which is played on the eve of the first Major of the year - is "a bit of a distraction".

It won't be the first time McIlroy has skipped the Par 3 event - he didn't partake in 2011, the year he led the Masters by four shots going into the last round before his famous meltdown.

The World No.3 said: "The year I had my best chance, 2011, I didn't play the Par 3 contest so maybe the decision not to play can work in my favour."

The Par 3 event features celebrities or players' children as caddies and the 26-year-old had then-fiancée Caroline Wozniacki by his side in 2014.

This will be McIlroy's second attempt at completing the Grand Slam. He finished a career-best fourth last year amid a whirlwind of hype, six shots behind winner Jordan Spieth.

And McIlroy, who reached the semi-finals in his defence of the WGC-Dell Match Play in Texas last week, added that he is already more relaxed this year.

He said: "Compared to a year ago and all the hype, I already feel more mellow and chilled. There's a lot more going on around others than the spotlight I found myself in a year ago."

McIlroy and his charitable foundation, the Rory Foundation, yesterday announced three children's charities in the Kildare-Dublin region who will benefit from this year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

The three charities are Barretstown, the Jack & Jill Foundation and LauraLynn Children's Hospice. The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation, will be held at The K Club from May 19-22

McIlroy added: "I'm honoured to support three worthy charities all based close to The K Club. To give a little something back is very important to me, especially when I can offer support to help children and their families."

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