Rory McIlroy chooses the French Open over WGC Bridgestone Invitational

The four time major winner won the competition in 2014 but has opted out of the PGA Tour event this year

Rory McIlroy chooses the French Open over WGC Bridgestone Invitational

Chris Carlson / AP/Press Association Images

Rory McIlroy will not compete at this year's WGC Bridgestone Invitational, instead opting to compete in the French Open.

The Open de France is in its centenary year and the Holywood golfer has chosen to play on the European Tour event for the third time in his career.

The Bridgestone Invitational, usually played in August, has been moved this year to accommodate the Olympics in Rio.

Alongside the BMW PGA and the Irish Open, the Open de France is one of the biggest events on the European Tour.

The European Tour have said that any tour golfers who compete in the Bridgestone Invitational will not receive Ryder Cup points ahead of this year's tournament.

This is unlikely to affect Rory McIlroy, who is likely repaying the tour for exemptions he received last year despite not playing in enough European Tour events (12 instead of the mandatory 13). 

He also noted that this course is best preparation for this year's second major, the Open in Royal Troon.

The scoreboard at the Open at Royal Troon in 2004. Image: John Walton / EMPICS Sport 

“I feel that playing in the 100th Open de France at Le Golf National will be the best way to get ready for The Open, which is just two weeks after the French Open,” McIlroy told the European Tour’s official website.

“Le Golf National might not be a pure links course, but it is traditionally firm and fast and can throw up some tricky conditions during the French Open.

“It’s a great test of golf and I think playing there, as well as staying in Europe, will offer the best conditions to prepare for The Open at Troon.

“It will also be great to be part of the centennial edition of the French Open, which is one of the best events on the European Tour. I am sure there will be a special atmosphere at the tournament this year, so I’m looking forward to hopefully being a very big part of it.”

The person this will affect most is Shane Lowry.

He will have to decide whether or not to play in France because he may not have enough Ryder Cup points come September or whether or not to defend the title he won in 2015.