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McIlroy withdraws from Honda Classic



Defending Honda Classic winner Rory McIlroy withdrew from the Honda Classic after an ugly start to Friday’s second round.

McIlroy, who is ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings, was 7-over through 8 holes, and withdrew after hitting his second shot on the par-5 18th (his ninth hole of the day) into the water.

“I sincerely apologize to The Honda Classic and PGA Tour for my sudden withdrawal,” McIlroy said in a statement after the round. “I have been suffering with a sore wisdom tooth, which is due to come out in the near future. It began bothering me again last night, so I relieved it with Advil. It was very painful again this morning, and I was simply unable to concentrate. It was really bothering me and had begun to affect my playing partners. I came here with every intention of defending my Honda Classic title. Even though my results haven’t revealed it, I really felt like I was rounding a corner. This is one of my favorite tournaments of the year and I regret having to make the decision to withdraw, but it was one I had to make.”

The PGA Tour requires that players have a medical reason for withdrawing from a tournament. According to, McIlroy told reporters briefly in the parking lot that “I’m not in a great place mentally. I can’t really say much, guys. I’m just in a bad place mentally.”

McIlroy’s equipment change from Titleist to Nike has made him the subject of constant speculation in 2013. So far, he has only played 80 holes of tournament with the new clubs — he missed the cut in his first event, the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship, and was eliminated by the No. 62-ranked player in the OWGR, Shane Lowry, in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship last week.

McIlroy is currently slated to play in the WGC-Cadillac Championship next week at Doral.

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum.


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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.



  1. bootscrilla

    Mar 2, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I (was) a huge Rory fan but he has lost all respect from me. You are getting paid 25 MILLION dollars a year (just from Nike!) and you quit because you’re playing bad and “your tooth hurts?” Come on dude..If I was getting paid even a fraction of that to play golf, I would fulfill my obligation and finish the round no matter what! Do your job that you’re getting paid an extreme amount of money to do, even if it means missing the cut by a mile. Play through the pain AND THEN tell the reporters you’re not in a good place mentally. Sorry but this really pisses me off..

    • donald davis

      Mar 3, 2013 at 12:58 am

      Wow. boneheaded move. The pr people are working overtime on this one. Gut it out , miss the cut and move on . The press and fans love to pile on stories like this . Rory does not seem comfortable with the number one in the world spot. Look back over the past 10 years and see how long players lasted at number 1. Tiger handled it the best till he cracked up. This is a opportunity for Rory to prove if he can handle number one. We will be watching . p.s. I pay full boat for my equipment and have never kept nike equipment for long.

  2. Dane

    Mar 2, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I can see switching equipment taking some time to get used to…new ball new heads same shafts made just like his old ones, maybe costing a shot or two a round…but +7 after 8? There’s something much bigger then equipment going on here…he’s 23 and found a female, I think we all can attest to a girl distracting us at some point in our lives.

    • brokeinorlando

      Mar 2, 2013 at 11:37 am

      HERE HERE! Enjoy the youth Rory!!!!!

  3. notsohard

    Mar 2, 2013 at 12:19 am

    sore tooth…..what a load of crock.

  4. V

    Mar 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    @Andrew: Faith has everything to do with golf doesn’t it. Because Tiger was such a religious man when he breeze through Major Championships? Because Fowler and Crane are shining beacons of achievement in golf? Give me a break.

    Mental strength and religious faith are very very very different things.

  5. mbc

    Mar 1, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Just finish and miss the cut, simple, but don’e quit.

  6. Shanna Carson

    Mar 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    I agree with Rory McIlroy’s decision to withdraws from the Honda Classic. He was simply not able to concentrate and didn’t want to affect his playing partners. It’s definitely better to apologize for a sudden withdrawal than having to apologize for a poor performance. So he took the right decision in my opinion.

    • bootscrilla

      Mar 2, 2013 at 11:47 am

      I see your point, but I highly doubt he would’ve affected them by making bogies or even doubles. He only had half of the round left, work through the pain and finish. If this tooth pain isn’t a lie, he would’ve had pain relievers in the bag I’m sure. Take some just to get through the round.

  7. footwedge

    Mar 1, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    He hit some beautiful drives and irons, even with his mental game being out of sorts. Personal and/or health issues to resolve; who cares, he’s human and imperfect. Some of the judge and jury posters need to get over themselves.

    Can’t wait to see Rory back in action and firing on all cylinders.

  8. Rroy

    Mar 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    He is all over the golf course with the new equipment. To have gone from laser approach shots to missing greens by yards tells all. Maybe he should play a practice round with the Titleist clubs and see what happens. Candy apple red driver. Come on! Who is the target of this marketing tactic?

    • G

      Mar 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      ” Who is the target of this marketing tactic?”

      Little boys and girls.

    • bootscrilla

      Mar 2, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Couldn’t agree more, a lot of the new drivers literally look like toy clubs

  9. RMHampel

    Mar 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Wow, a lot of lucky people here who’ve never suffered from dental pain. Trust me, an infected/impacted wisdom tooth will make your head throb so bad you wish you could just lay down and die to be rid of the pain. Try playing top level golf with that.

    That said, the switch to Nike really isn’t likely a big deal. He played forged blades with Titleist and he’s playing forged blades with Nike. How much different could they really be?

    • G

      Mar 1, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      It anything “feels” slightly different, it’s probably differently enough to obviously not be confident to go at it. Even if they are forged, they probably feel way different. Including the forged titanium driver heads – and the Nike one he’s using with the hollow back is very different to the Titty one he was using before. And we’re seeing the effects of all that, obviously. I’m sure the ball is doing weird stuff too.

    • G

      Mar 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Oh and lets not forget the putter debacle from his first tournament.

      • Colin Gillbanks

        Mar 4, 2013 at 7:51 am

        “Putter debacle” ?!

        We’re not overreacting at all here are we?

        He changed to a heavier putter to cope with slower greens in Dubai than he’d been used to in his practice in the states. It happens.

        The media ‘change in equipment’ obsession with Mcilroy is beyonda joke now. The kid has lost his form. Simple as that.

    • ProAm Duffer

      Mar 2, 2013 at 10:54 am

      @RMHampel: Yes we have all been there with that in fact several times.
      But how do you explain him munching on that huge sandwich walking down the 18th F/W minutes before he quit????

      • brokeinorlando

        Mar 2, 2013 at 11:34 am

        I noticed that too. I think Rory is too wealthy to get mentally correct right now. No motivation + no work ethic= no game.
        He is a talent and will get it back when he commits again. He can score with any club in his hands if he is focused.

    • Yoyo

      Mar 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      If he really had dental pain, then why was he caught eating a sandwich before he eventually withdrew? based on the picture it seemed he didnt have any trouble eating it.

      External Link:–golf.html

  10. blopar

    Mar 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    If he has had a sore wisdom tooth, that’s a simople problem that for 200 million to play Nike he should have had taken care of during his layoff earlier this winter. I think this is B.S. and the problem is his switch from Titleist to Nike—as I predicted would be a problem in this very same comments section months ago when it was first announced. Greed never pays!!!

    • Trevor

      Mar 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      I agree with you on this. I think he is having a heck of a time trying to get used to the change and I don’t mean just equipment.

      I believe they’ve moved to quickly with that 200 million check. He should have spent another year as #1 with his old equipment and lifestyle and then made a move when he is more mature. From my point of view he is not ready for this.

  11. Andrew

    Mar 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Something is going on…can’t wait for it to come out. Just like Dustin Johnson “hurt his back” lifting a jetski but really went to rehab. Everyone gets carried away with the money, confidence, and spotlight, just a matter of time. Props to Bubba, Fowler, Ben Crane etc for staying strong in their faith.

  12. Mitch

    Mar 1, 2013 at 11:57 am

    NIKE GOLF: Just Do it………But if you can’t do it, make up some dumb excuse

  13. dapadre

    Mar 1, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Only HE knows if this is the REAL reason. I have my doubts to be honest, but lets give him the benefit of the doubt. If it was a question of mental breakdown of just non confidence in his new clubs, he is in for HELL in Agusta. There will be no excuses there, at a place his past ghosts are lurking. Golf is a great game which I love dearly, but those that play know that its a MIND GAME.

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Marty Jertson, Ping’s Director of Product Development, qualified for the PGA Championship



The top 20 professionals from the PGA Professional Championship–contested last weekend at Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside, California–are heading to the PGA Championship later this year.

Perhaps you saw Ryan Vermeer, at 5 under, was the medalist. What you may not have seen however, is something particularly cool for golf equipment geeks: Ping’s Director of Product Development, Marty Jertson, qualified–and he did so in spectacular fashion: the 37-year-old birdied the last three holes to finish T9.

Not bad for an engineer!

Also noteworthy: Ping confirmed Jertson played the company’s yet-to-be announced i500 irons in his 3, 4, and 5-irons, which will reportedly be available mid-summer. Yes, they confirmed that the rumors are true; Ping’s new iron will be called i500.

Related: We did a podcast with Jertson at the PGA Show, we also interviewed him back in 2017.


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Reddit AMA alert: Anthony Taranto, Callaway’s wedge art maestro, on his favorite designs, WITB



If you’ve been around GolfWRX for any period of time, you’ve seen Anthony Taranto’s work. The Callaway wedge specialist is tasked with designing some of the coolest wedge decorations in the game.

Taranto did a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) yesterday, and The Wedge Art Wizard (as he introduced himself) didn’t disappoint.

Here are a few highlights (edited for spelling)

Remoolg asked: How did you start working at Callaway and get into this specific position?

AT: Back in 1999 Callaway had a job fair for their new golf ball plant Mr. Callaway was opening. I made it though many layoffs and reorganization. I was good at building clubs and I was placed in the pro tour department about 12 years ago. About 4 1/2 years ago I discovered this technique for sandblasting art onto wedges and now here we are.

Loudshorts asked: What’s the most odd art request you’ve put on a wedge and what’s the most common?

AT: Most odd: Probably Michelle Wie’s Harry Potter-themed wedges

I didn’t know anything about Harry Potter at the time so I had to do some research. Accio birdies!
Most common would just be old fashioned stamping of players initials.

Bunny said: Billy Idol, never pictured him as a golfer. What kind of design did he want on his clubs?

AT: He asked for his logo, which is this cool crown with a lightning bolt:

Iamrobert_paulson asked: What wedges are in your bag? Can we see pics?

AT: I’m gaming MD4’s: 45° (46 bent to 45), 50°, 55° (54 bent to 55), and 60°. Design wise: Skull & Crossbones and lots of stars.

Dr. Troutman asked: What is your favorite custom set you’ve ever done?

AT: Putting me on the spot! It might be these that I just recently made. Figured out how to evolve the sand blasting technique and start doing layers. Really happy with how these came out:

You can check out the full AMA here.

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GolfWRX Morning 9: McIlroy going back to 2010 swing? | Jacklin blasts USGA I Baba Booeyism



Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note.

In case you’ve missed it, or you prefer to read on site rather than in your email, we’re including it here. Check out today’s Morning 9 below.

If you’re not signed up for our newsletters, you can subscribe here.

By Ben Alberstadt (


Good Friday morning, golf fans. The days only get shorter from here, so get out there and play some golf. And if you’re in the NYC area and looking for a fourth, well, consider dropping a line to the email above!
1. A bounceback for Spieth, McIlroy (who’s going back to 2010)
As you may have seen, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, both of whom missed the cut at the U.S. Open, started the Travelers Championship strong. Spieth was tied for the lead a 7 under, and McIlroy was a stroke back at the end of round one.
Most interestingly, however, is this tidbit from McIlroy (h/t Geoff Shackelford via a Reuters report)
  • “I’m trying to get back to the way I swung in 2010, 2011 and it’s sort of hard because my body’s changed quite a bit since then,” the 29-year-old, whose muscular frame now is a far cry from the scrawny teenager of days gone by, told reporters.
  • “The feeling I have now is the feeling I had in the middle of 2009…That’s basically what I did over the weekend. I got a feeling that really resonated and brought me back to a time when I was swinging really well, and sort of went with that feeling.”
2. Another assault on the USGA
This time, it’s Tony Jacklin taking the USGA to task (via bunkered)
  • “Shinnecock Hills has always been a great test over the years, but the USGA have messed it up again..This kind of thing seems to be becoming a habit for them, as the way the course was set-up on Saturday was just ludicrous. It seems like they end up with egg on their face every time and most of the players were disgusted.”
  • “If I’d have been playing and seen the course set-up the way it was, I would have been angry. It was madness. It wasn’t a fair test of golf and the element of luck played a big role in costing some people dearly.”
  • “The whole thing turned into a joke on Saturday and you just hate to see it at that level of the game with a major championship up for grabs. I’m sure the USGA will make their excuses but I just don’t understand it at all.”
3. Baba Booey for Life!
A contentious forum thread turned hot front page article is built around these remark from GolfWRX member Stickner.
  • “For those that think noise while a player hits shouldn’t be allowed, you must also believe that fans should NEVER make noise…A player with a large gallery jars a 70 footer for eagle to take the lead. The crowd erupts! This should not be allowed.
  • “Why you ask? There are other golfers well within earshot of the noise. This could disrupt their game. Why does the nearby player you can see deserve the “courtesy of quiet” but the one 400 yards away that you can’t see doesn’t?
  • “We have all seen players back off because the crowd erupted on another hole. What happens when that eruption happens in the backswing right before the player is about to transition to the downswing? Those boisterous hooligans need to keep their traps shut as this is a gentleman’s game right?
  • “Being quiet while someone plays golf is silly. My guess is that the elitist snobs that played this game a century ago needed a scapegoat when hitting a bad shot and noise became their scapegoat.”
4. Sympathy for the putt-raker?
Luke Kerr-Dineen writes that, while purists, traditionalists, and the media have raked Phil Mickelson over the coals, many average golfers have to sympathize with Lefty’s putt-raking.
  • “Well, isn’t that just a variation of something stupid we’ve all done. Snapped a club or thrown a club or taken your ball and marched home. As much as we love this silly game and all the beautiful moments within, it’s at times completely and utterly infuriating. Often you can laugh it off. Sometimes it drives you a bit mad.”
  • “In light of Mickelson’s apology, it seems more and more like he simply momentarily snapped. In that, it was an act so many people can relate to on a human level. It’s why, when most fans look back on this in the future, it won’t be with disdain. It’ll be with a grin and a shake of the head. We’ve all been there, and we know how it feels. And so does Phil.”
5. Pro golf as a team sport
Ed Myers looks at the supporting casts around top players and asks the chicken vs. egg question.
  • “Do a little research on the top PGA Tour players, and what you’ll see is that most (if not all of them) employ a team of diverse professionals that support their efforts to perform on the golf course. Take two-time major champion Zach Johnson; he has a team that includes a caddie, a swing instructor, a sports psychologist, a physiotherapist, an agent, a statistician, a spiritual mentor, a financial adviser… and of course his wife.”
  • “I know this seems like a lot, and maybe even too much,” Johnson readily admitted. “But each individual has their place. Each place is different in its role and capacity. In order for me to practice, work out and just play golf, I need these individuals along the way. There is a freedom that comes with having such a great group that allows me to just play.”
6. Why don’t you just get on Twitter then?
But really, Michael Bamberger’s occasional roundup of the things he’d have tweeted had he been on Twitter is good stuff.
Here are a couple
  • “Amy had it exactly correct on Father’s Day: Phil had a bad day in the office. Too bad he didn’t acknowledge that after playing on Saturday.”
  • “I miss the old stern USGA. Mike Davis is a truly knowledgeable and caring golf person. He had nothing to apologize for Saturday night. Courses change with the wind, literally and figuratively.”

More of ’em.

7. The curse of Shinnecock Hills
Bruce Buschel of the East Hampton Star files a piece from perspective of, you now, the tribe whose name, likeness, and land the U.S. Open featured.
A taste…
  • “The golf course logo is a different matter. It’s insulting – it’s a cartoon Indian with a big hook nose wearing a war bonnet festooned with an arrow and a putter. Like a kindergarten coloring book circa 1955. So the tribe requested a redesign or a flat-out removal. They got neither. Shinnecocks don’t have much luck when negotiating with the white man, not here, there, or anywhere.”
  • “Many Shinnecock do not appreciate being called Native Americans. They were here long before America was discovered by Leif Erikson, by Christopher Columbus, and by Amerigo Vespucci. First Nation would be more accurate. Indigenous people would suffice. Even Indian is preferable to Native American.”
  • “The Shinnecocks take no glee in the public disasters that have befallen Shinnecock Hills since the tribe was excommunicated, since the indigenous people were removed as caretakers of their own land….No one talks about karma. And no one talks about the Curse of Shinnecock Hills…Someone should.”
8. Well…
If curiosity is getting the better of you, a few shots from Greg Norman’s spread in ESPN’s upcoming body issue are circulating.
9. ESPY voting
Speaking of the Worldwide Leader, ESPN has announced the candidates for best male and female golfer–to be revealed at the July 18 awards show.
And the nominees are…
  • Male...Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed
  • Female...Shanshan Feng, Inbee Park, Ariya Jutanugarn, Sung-Hyun Park
You can vote here and here.
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19th Hole