The Irish Open is in mourning today at the news that Rory McIlroy is to skip the 2019 Irish Open.  In an interview with the BBC's Winker Watson, McIlroy outlined the reasons for his decision.

Strangely enough in the current climate it has nothing to do with the Brexit Backstop but more of a European Tour backstop that Rory cannot get over.  After carrying the event for several years, he's now going to look after number one.

Here are some of the quotes from the interview on the BBC.

"If there is ever a year when I feel I can miss this Irish Open, it's this year."

"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."

"I'm just going to sort of play as little as I can [on the European Tour] to save myself for the golf that I'm playing everywhere else also."

"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 to see me play."

"My main focus is the major championships, the WGCs....the biggest events in the world wherever they may be.

"They don't know the ins and outs of your life. It's easy to criticise from far away because you don't know the details.

"I'm sure people are going to be upset but at the same time, if it means that it gives me a better chance to win The Open, and prepare well for Portrush, I'm going to do it.

"I'm going to make decisions that are the best thing for me. If that upsets anyone, then I'm sorry - that's not my problem, that's their problem."

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