The Masters
March 29, 2016

Rory McIlroy to skip Masters Par 3 Contest because "It's a distraction"

The Par 3 Contest has become a fan-favorite tradition of Masters week. Held on Wednesday, it's transformed into a de facto "family day" at Augusta National, as many players -- both current and former -- bring children or spouses on the bags. It's a low stakes, light-hearted affair, a perfect precursor for the excitement that starts on Thursday.

But not everyone holds this view, Rory McIlroy among them.

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In an interview with The Guardian, McIlroy called the event "a hassle," and believes skipping the event will increase his chances to contend for a green jacket.

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

Superstar players -- most notably, Tiger Woods -- have skipped the Par 3 Contest in the past. However, McIlroy's presence has been a staple in recent years, memorably bringing then-girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki and boyband star Niall Horan as loopers.