Rory McIlroy has revealed that his family will no longer be with him for next month’s Open Championship as a result of the tight COVID-19 protocols in place at the tournament.
The Northern Irishman is back on home turf this week as he hosts the Irish Open at Mount Juliet, the course acting as host for the first time since 1995.
However, McIlroy, 32, has travelled over without wife Erica and baby daughter, Poppy, due to restrictions.
“I mean, everything's had an impact,” said McIlory when asked about the Open Championship restrictions. “Up until last week, my family were going to travel with me and we were going to be here for three weeks. My original plan was to play here, take a week off, that week in between which is now The Scottish Open and then play The Open.
“But just with travel restrictions and obviously with me being exempt as a sports person and the restrictions not maybe being as heavy as they would be for Erica and Poppy, for example, I just felt like it wasn't fair to put them through what they would have to go through to be here with me.”
As part of the protocol for the week, the R&A has said that players will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entering the country and another on arrival at Royal St. George’s.
Players will not be allowed to visit restaurants, bars, shops and must stay in either an official hotel or in a private self-catering home with a maximum of four occupants.
The stringent restrictions forced McIlroy into rethinking his plans in the lead up to the Open, something he says might actually benefit him.
“Plans changed very quickly,” he added. “We made the decision that I would travel on my own, and I thought, if I'm here, I might as well play the Scottish. So, it sort of went quickly from them coming to them not coming, and then me playing three events in a row.
“It is nice to get a tournament on a links course before going into Sandwich. So if anything, it's probably all worked out for the best.”