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Rory McIlroy will make his debut in the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans next month. 

McIlroy will team up with his close friend and Ryder Cup teammate Shane Lowry in a formidable pairing for the unique tournament at TPC Louisiana.

The event takes place from April 25-28, two weeks after the Northern Irishman’s latest tilt at The Masters, where he is going for the career Grand Slam.

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McIlroy has vowed to play more to give himself the best chance of ending his major drought this season and his appearance in New Orleans provides a huge boost to tournament organisers.

It’s a plan that has been in the works for a while, but McIlroy admitted it all started at a boozy Ryder Cup lunch.

“I asked him [to play],” McIlroy told on Monday.

“You know it was actually, we had this really drunken lunch after the Ryder Cup last year, and I said after, ‘You wanna play the Zurich together?’ And we were like, yeah, let’s do it.

“So I was like, ‘Yeah, if you are looking to play?’” McIlroy said. “And I’ve never played before, so I’m looking forward to it.”

He will also play at the Valero Texas Open the week before the Masters and could make it four straight starts if he decides to play the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town.

The Zurich Classic is a unique event on the US circuit moved to a two-man team format back in 2017.

Nick Hardy and Davis Riley are the defending champions, while Team USA Ryder Cup pair Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay won the 2022 renewal.

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While McIlroy will be making his debut, Lowry has some experience in the Zurich. The 2019 Open champion has competed in the tournament three times and finished 13th with Ian Poulter in 2022.

McIlroy and Lowry have played in the last two Ryder Cup teams together and were paired together once during the 2021 defeat at Whistling Straits.

“Both of these players have competed for Europe in Ryder Cup competition, so they are very accustomed to team play,” said Steve Worthy, chief executive of the Fore!Kids Foundation which runs the event.

“It’s always fun to see close friends partner in our unique format, and with their experience they will be both fan and on-course favourites.”

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