Rory McIlroy opts to play Irish Open over Congressional return

Jonathan Wall

No matter what Rory McIlroy does for the rest of his golfing career, Congressional Country Club will always hold a special place in his heart.

Site of his historic 2011 U.S. Open victory, you'd figure McIlroy would jump at the chance to play a tour event at the course in the near future.

But despite what some might think, that doesn't seem to be the case, after the Ulsterman announced he'll be skipping out on the AT&T National at Congressional for the chance to play the Irish Open.

"There has been a lot of speculation on whether or not I will play the Irish Open next year, so I am happy to announce that I will definitely play the tournament next season," McIlroy said in a release. "For me, the Irish Open has always been, and will continue to be, one of the most important events on the global golf calendar."

Despite taking up membership on the PGA Tour in 2012, it's clear McIlroy's decision to pass on playing at Congressional had everything to do with him not wanting to miss out on playing in his national open ... and the possibility of a nice appearance check for passing on one of the tour's biggest events.

The good news for McIlroy is Congressional is scheduled to host the AT&T National event for the next three years, so he'll have other opportunities to play the course in the future. That's assuming, of course, it doesn't get scheduled the same week as the Irish Open.

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