Speaking to Golfweek this week in Dubai, McIlroy outlined an ambitious schedule leading into the 2017 Masters, where he will once again look to close out the career Grand Slam. His first start of the new year will come at the South African Open in mid-January, followed by European Tour starts in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
McIlroy will then turn his attention to defending his FedEx Cup title, making his first PGA Tour appearance at the Genesis Open (at Riviera Country Club). He'll reportedly follow that with starts at the Honda Classic, WGC-Mexico Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. It will mark a stretch of five starts in six weeks before McIlroy heads down Magnolia Lane.
"That's a lot. I'm taking four weeks off after Augusta so I've got a busy stretch up to Augusta," McIlroy said. "It'll be the busiest I've been going up to Augusta but, because I'm taking four weeks off after Augusta, I feel like it's a good time to be busy and play a lot."
Following the Masters, McIlroy doesn't plan to play again until The Players Championship. He has also reportedly narrowed down his options for adding an additional event to his schedule, as PGA Tour bylaws now require players who made fewer than 25 starts last season to add an event they haven't played in the last four years.
"I'm probably going to slip one in after (The Players): either one of the Texas tournaments (AT&T Byron Nelson or Dean & DeLuca Invitational) or maybe Hartford (Travelers Championship) after the U.S. Open," he said.