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Dublin: 7 °C Monday 19 November, 2018

McIlroy changes schedule to play at British Masters 10 years on from pro debut

He’ll go in search of a season-ending spark next week.

McIlroy during the British Masters at the Belfry in 2007.
McIlroy during the British Masters at the Belfry in 2007.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

RORY MCILROY HAS confirmed he will compete in the British Masters at Close House this month, returning to the tournament where he made his professional debut a decade ago.

The Northern Irishman’s season has been blighted by injury problems, forcing the four-time Major winner to revise his schedule.

But he had little hesitation in adding the event in Newcastle to his itinerary, with Ryder Cup team-mate Lee Westwood hosting.

“I’m looking forward to playing my first British Masters for a while,” said the former world number one, whose fitness woes ensured he was unable to defend his FedExCup title.

“I kind of had it in the back of my mind that if I didn’t make the Tour Championship then there was a chance to tee it up at Close House, so I have decided to do that before finishing my season off the next week at the Dunhill Links.

“I’m pleased to be able to support Lee Westwood next week as well. I know what it’s like to be a tournament host so I know how much the British Masters means to Lee this year.”

The 28-year-old joins a field that includes two former Masters champions in Sergio Garcia and Danny Willett.

McIlroy has not won a tournament this year amid his issues with a rib injury and he announced in August that he would afford himself a prolonged break in order to hit the ground running in 2018.

Despite his problems, McIlroy managed a tie for seventh at Augusta and a tie for fourth at the Open.

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