Rory McIlroy has announced he will play the French Open at Le Golf National in a boost for the European Tour

Rory McIlroy will play in the French Open in Paris this summer instead of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Both events take place from 30th June – 3rd July.

The 100th French Open takes place two weeks before The Open at Troon and McIlroy believes Le Golf National will be better preparation than the typical American layout of Firestone CC, where the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational is held.

Initially it seems a strange decision, considering McIlroy won the WGC-Bridgestone in 2014, however the tournament usually sits in the first week of August before the USPGA Championship.

It has been changed because of scheduling issues surrounding the Olympic Games in Rio and is now no longer sanctioned as a European Tour event like before.

This means money won at the WGC-Bridgestone will not count towards the Race to Dubai or the European Ryder Cup points list.

Rory McIlroy wins WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Rory McIlroy wins WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

The world number three didn’t meet his full quota of European Tour events last year and was let into the finals series despite this, where he went on to win the Race to Dubai for the third time with victory at the DP World Tour Championship.

Perhaps his decision to commit to the French Open is also a thank you to the European Tour for allowing him to play the tour finals last year.

“Le Golf National might not be a pure links course, but it is traditionally firm and fast and can throw up some tricky conditions,” said McIlroy.

“It is a great test of golf and I think playing there, as well as staying in Europe, will be the best way to prepare for The Open at Troon.”

The Northern Irishman has played the French Open twice, missing the cut in ’08 during his maiden season as a pro and finishing T4th in 2010, one shy of a play-off.

Rory McIlroy won The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in 2014.