Rory McIlroy has confirmed that he will not compete in this year's Irish Open.
Focusing his attention instead on the The Open at Royal Portrush, the 29-year-old has devised a schedule that he believes will give him the best chance of preparing "for what could be the biggest event of my life."
I'm going to play The Open Championship and I'm sure a lot of people will travel from down south
"If there is ever a year when I feel I can miss this Irish Open, it’s this year," Rory McIlroy informed BBC Sport Northern Ireland.
"If I was to play the Irish Open, The Open Championship would be my third event in a row. For me, that’s not the best way to prepare for what could be the biggest event of my life."
Having hitherto hosted the tournament himself since 2015, McIlroy's absence comes as Paul McGinley takes over the role of running the Irish Open.
"I love the Irish Open. I’ve supported it in my whole career," McIlroy explained.
"The people of Ireland are still going to see me playing golf because I’m going to play The Open Championship and I’m sure a lot of people will travel from down south."