Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, the upcoming golf game from EA Sports, will be missing one of the sport's most significant courses when it launches this June: the renowned Augusta National Golf Club, a representative for EA Sports confirmed to Polygon today.
"Our license with Augusta National has expired and it does not currently appear in EA Sports Rory McIlroy PGA Tour," reads the statement from EA. "However, we will continue to examine opportunities to include this world-class course in the game."
EA is "exploring" the possibility of adding Augusta National to Rory McIlroy PGA Tour as post-launch downloadable content, according to a tweet from the series' official account.
Located in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta National is the home of the Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf. The loss of Augusta National is a devastating blow to Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, not least because its departure also means the game won't include The Masters itself.
Augusta National debuted in the PGA Tour franchise in 2011 with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 (screenshot above), which bore the subtitle "The Masters." When EA secured the British Open license for 2013's Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14, that game became the series' first game to feature all four major championships. For now, the absence of Augusta National in Rory McIlroy PGA Tour means PGA Tour 14 will stand as the only EA game to date with all four golf majors.
Speculation about Rory McIlroy PGA Tour lacking Augusta National began to fly a few weeks ago, when EA revealed that McIlroy would be the new face and namesake of EA's golf series. The company announced that it planned to launch Rory McIlroy PGA Tour in June, returning to the franchise's traditional launch window — and leading some fans to wonder if The Masters would appear in this year's game.
With the introduction of Augusta National in 2011, EA had shifted the game's release to March so it would launch just before the Masters Tournament, which is played in early April. EA released its last three golf games (Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, 13 and 14) in March 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. The company also put out a video alongside the McIlroy announcement featuring the game's new commentary team, Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo of The Golf Channel. They are replacing Jim Nantz, the longtime voice of Masters Tournament coverage on CBS, and David Feherty.
Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is in development on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For more, check out the trailer below. The 2015 Masters Tournament runs from today through Sunday, April 12.