Rory McIlroy is five years removed from his Masters Tournament meltdown, and the four-time major winner is hoping to avoid any distraction as he seeks his first green jacket.
One of the measures he’s taking to do so is skipping the Par-3 Contest at Augusta National next week.
"I'm not going to play the Par-3 Contest this year as it's just too much hassle and it's a bit of a distraction," McIlroy said, per ESPN.com.
The 26-year-old is playing in his eighth Masters and recorded his best finish of fourth place a year ago. In 2011, the Northern Irishman was in line to win golf’s premier event before a monumental collapse on the final day.
Leading by four strokes at 12 under heading into Sunday, McIlroy, then 21, had four bogeys, a double bogey and a triple bogey to finish at eight over in his final round. His final scorecard was good for a tie for 15th at four under.
To this day, it’s considered one of the most epic collapses in the tournament’s prestigious history.
But McIlroy rebounded valiantly, winning the next major in dominant fashion two months later in the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. McIlroy finished at 15 under, 10 strokes ahead of second-place Jason Day.
The Par-3 Contest has become a Masters tradition since being established in 1960 and takes place the day before the tournament begins. No Par-3 winner has gone on to claim a green jacket by Sunday’s end in the same year, per ESPN.com.
And by not competing in the event this year, McIlroy is assuredly hoping that streak continues.