• The event sits in the midst of a hectic summer schedule
• Has previously that Castle Stuart isn't a 'true links test'
RORY MCILROY | SCOTTISH OPEN
Rory McIlroy has confirmed that he will not be at the Scottish Open this year amid a hectic 2016 schedule that has been altered to accommodate golf’s return to the Olympic Games.
The 26-year-old used his press conference ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship to say he wouldn’t be in the field at Castle Stuart, a venue he has openly criticised in the past, answering bluntly "No, it's not," when asked if he'd be playing in the event.
The four-time major winner chose not to play at the Highlands layout in the three years it was staged there between 2011 and 2013, saying that it wasn’t a ‘true links test’.
"It’s not that Castle Stuart is too easy, it’s just not a true links course" - Rory McIlroy in 2014
Speaking before the 2014 Open at Royal Liverpool, which he won, the Northern Irishman told bunkered.co.uk: “It’s not that Castle Stuart is too easy, it’s just not a true links course. I mean, how long has it been there? Five years? Well, Royal Aberdeen has been there for hundreds, so it’s a bit different.”
While McIlroy’s opinion of the course may have had some impact on his decision, the cluttered summer schedule is unlikely to have helped, with five huge tournaments in the space of nine weeks.
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From the US Open, the European Tour and PGA Tour schedule is as follows:
• June 16-19: US Open
• June 23-26: BMW International Open, Quicken Loans National
• June 30-3: French Open, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
• July 7-10: Scottish Open, Greenbrier Classic
• July 14-17: The Open
• July 21-24: RBC Canadian Open
• July 28-31: US PGA Championship
• August 4-7: Paul Lawrie Match Play, Travelers Championship
• August 11-14: Olympic Games
McIlroy was due to play in last year's event at Gullane but was forced to miss that and the defence of his Open Championship title at St Andrews the following week after damaging ankle ligaments while playing football with friends.
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The news is likely to come as a blow to Scottish Open organisers, who have done a great deal in recent times to help boost the profile of the event. Last year's tournament, which was won by Rickie Fowler, contained 23 of the world's top 60, with the amount of Americans up ten from the last time it was held at Castle Stuart to 14.
Rory McIlroy :: Skipping Scottish Open
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