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McIlroy faces schedule clash in race to be No. 1
US Open champ Rory McIlroy could miss next year’s Irish Open because of a clash with the AT&T National at Congressional, the scene of his remarkable US Open victory in June.

A new title sponsor for the Irish Open, thought to be Zurich Financial Services Group, is being lined up for the tournament, which it would move it from its normal late July slot in the European Tour schedule to 28 June – 1 July. 

Although the event is two weeks after the US Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, it takes place at the same time as the AT&T National.

Implying that McIlroy could be lured to Washington DC during Irish Open week, his agent Andrew “Chubby” Chandler said: "Rory is considering his options at the moment. The tournament in the States is at Congressional so it is reasonably attractive too!"

The European Tour will have to be careful on the date change if it does not want to run the risk of losing Ireland’s top-ranked player to the country’s marquee event.

Asked in Holland last week if the Irish Open was on his schedule next year, McIlroy said: "Depends," before hastily adding: "I'm not sure when the date is yet, so that's why."

McIlory has repeatedly insisted that his goal is to chase down Luke Donald and join his tennis-star girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki as World Number 1 in his sport.

Legendary golfer Sir Nick Faldo said on Tuesday that for the 22-year-old to achieve those goals he will need to make some major scheduling decisions.

"He is changing his schedule next year. He is going to be wanted everywhere and so his priority has got to be golf and all those things have got to be juggled," Faldo said.

"I am sure these last couple of months he is just finding his feet and then, next year, he will step it up."

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