McIlroy turns down WGC-Bridgestone for French Open

Former Bridgestone champion Rory McIlroy is going to turn his back on competing in Ohio later this year and instead tee up in the French Open in Versailles.

McIlroy, as winner of the 2014 WGC – Bridgestone Invitational, had stated as far back as January earlier this year he was not going to tee up in Akron, Ohio.

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

However at the time McIlroy’s management team had not formally advise the PGA Tour the four-time Major winner will instead compete in France.

McIlroy’s decision is a huge boost for French Open organisers, in what will be the 100th staging of the event, and on the Golf National course that will play host to the 2018 Ryder Cup.

In fact, McIlroy has not contested a French Open since a final round 66 to be placed fourth behind Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez in 2010.

He was due to compete in the 2011 French Open but after capturing the U.S. Open a month earlier that year his schedule was changed and he skipped the French event.

As well, it is a huge blow to Bridgestone Invitational organisers that McIlroy along with the likes of fellow Irishman Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and possibly defending champion, Shane Lowry may also not tee up in Ohio.

This stems from the wrangle between the European Tour and the PGA Tour after the PGA Tour, and without consultation with the European Tour, went ahead to schedule the Bridgestone the very week after July’s Open Championship at Royal Troon.

The European Tour reacted to the PGA Tour’s seemingly heavy handiness in declaring there would be no European Ryder Cup points or World Ranking points afforded to any European Tour member competing in Akron.

Lowry is still undecided if he will defend his $US 9m title or compete in Versailles.

That decision could all depend on how he fairs in June’s US Open outside Pittsburgh, and whether his Ryder Cup standing is strong enough not to play in France.