Rory McIlroy to skip the par-three tournament ahead of the Masters

The World number three last missed the curtain-raiser in 2011

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Rory McIlroy speaks with Niall Horan during the Par 3 contest ahead of the 2015 Masters. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Rory McIlroy has revealed he is to skip the traditional par-three tournament at Augusta ahead of next week's Masters tournament.

The World number three has yet to win at Augusta in seven previous appearances. He has finished in the top-ten in the previous two years.

The Masters par-three tournament takes place the day before the Masters begins and is a chance for players to relax with friends and family before the tournament begins. McIlroy has used former fiancée Caroline Wozniacki and One Direction's Niall Horan as caddies in recent years.

No winner of the par-three tournament has gone on to win the Masters in the same year and it's a record McIlroy hopes will help him by skipping the event this year.

"The year I had my best chance at Augusta, and that was in 2011 as I didn’t play the Par 3 Contest so maybe the decision not to play it this year can work in my favour", McIlroy revealed. He also announced he is to play a practice round with the English duo of Andy Sullivan and Matthew Fitzpatrick ahead of the event.

If McIlroy is to win the Masters this year, he will become only the sixth player, and first European to win all four of golf's biggest tournaments.