McIlroy pulls out of Grand Slam

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  • Tiger Woods, right, and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walk down the fairway on the tenth hole of The Barclays PGA golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York, yesterday. McIlroy has withdrawn from October's Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda.

    Tiger Woods, right, and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walk down the fairway on the tenth hole of The Barclays PGA golf tournament at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York, yesterday. McIlroy has withdrawn from October's Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda.


Rory McIlroy has opted not to play in the PGA Grand Slam at Port Royal Golf Course in October.

The Northern Irishman, who played in last year’s tournament and qualified again following his historic PGA Championship win this month, will travel to several tournaments in Asia instead.

Before his emphatic eight-shot win at Kiawah Island, McIlroy had agreed to play in the Volvo Masters in Shanghai, which begins on October 25 the day after the Grand Slam, which runs from October 22-24, ends.

The Shanghai event is part of a money-spinning few weeks for the double-major winner, who is also scheduled to play in Turkey with his tour culminating in an exhibition match against Tiger Woods at Lake Jinsha International Golf Club in China on October 29.

Woods is playing in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia while McIlroy is in Shanghai, and their meeting the following Monday is already being billed as a classic encounter.

While the pair are playing together in the first two rounds of The Barclays, yesterday and today, the exhibition would be the first head-to-head meeting between one of the game’s greatest players, and his newest young rival.

PGA officials meanwhile have been aware of the possible conflict surrounding McIlroy’s schedule for several months, and hope to name his replacement early next week.

As defending champion, Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA Championship winner, has first refusal on taking the vacant spot, and he is expected to inform organisers of his decision by Monday.

Representatives from Port Royal, the PGA and Bradley’s camp have been in contact this week to see if the American’s schedule is flexible enough to allow him to make the trip.

If Bradley is unavailable, then Greame McDowell is next in line, and the Northern Irishman is understood to have already had discussions with PGA officials about visiting the Island again.

McDowell is the next alternate by virtue of his record in the major championships, and the US Open winner is no stranger to the Port Royal course having played in the 2010 Grand Slam.

While McIlroy might be missing, PGA officials confirmed that they fully expect the other three major winners Bubba Watson (Masters), Web Simpson (US Open), and Ernie Els (The Open) to be in attendance.

Of the three, Els has already won in Bermuda before, beating McDowell, David Toms and Martin Kaymer in 2010.

While that was Els’ second Grand Slam win, Watson and Simpson will be making their first appearances at the event, after winning majors for the first time this year.

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Published Aug 24, 2012 at 8:34 am (Updated Aug 24, 2012 at 8:34 am)

McIlroy pulls out of Grand Slam

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