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McIlroy withdraws from Honda Classic

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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 ESPN.com, 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 GolfWRX.com. 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.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  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: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/mcilroy-walks-off-course-dropping-seven-shots-165400992–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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Tour Mash: Rahm wins in Dubai, Cook sizzles to victory

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Two more points races reached their end this weekend. The LPGA season culminated in Florida with the Race to the CME Globe, while the European Tour concluded its Race to Dubai in, where else? Dubai! The PGA Tour played its final event until the new year, in Georgia, while the Ladies European Tour played its Sanya Open in China. Before American Thanksgiving revelry and remembrance set in, it’s time for one more tour mash.

LPGA Tour: A day of twos ends in a win for Ariya

Ariya Jutanugarn birdied her final two holes to win the CME Tour Championship. She was given the opportunity to win in regulation when Lexi Thompson pushed a 2-foot putt for par at the last. Although Thompson did not win the year’s final event, she captured 2 titles of her own: Vare Trophy for low scoring average and Race To CME Globe, the season’s points race.

How Ariya Jutanugarn tasted victory

The power game has arrived on the LPGA Tour, in case you missed it. Golfers such as Lexi, Ariya and Sung Hyun Park obliterate the orb, leaving little yardage to the green. When her game is firing, Ariya Jutanugarn is unstoppable. After bogey at the first hole on Sunday, the young golfer from Thailand etched six birdies into the final 17 holes, for a second-consecutive 67. Her birdie at the last came from 23 feet, an amazing putt to hole with victory on the line. Down it went, and up went the smile of a champion.

How the rest came up just shy of a win

With eerie similarity, Lexi Thompson’s card was the flip side of Ariya’s. Thompson made six birdies over her first 17 holes, but the hiccough at the last, her only bogey on the day, dropped her to 14-under par and opened the door for Jutanugarn. Thompson was on absolute fire on Sunday, hitting all 14 fairways and using the putter 28 times. Ariya, Kim Kaufman, Michelle Wie and Suzann Pettersen stood tied atop at 10-under, heading into round 4. Pettersen’s 72, Kaufman’s 71 and Wie’s 70 were simply not enough to keep pace with those coming from behind on Sunday. Ariya, however, was up to the challenge.

European Tour: Rahm wins in Dubai and Fleetwood breathes again

For a time, it seemed as though Justin Rose would win his third consecutive event in Europe and would squeeze past Fleetwood for the season points title. The former Englishman was in the midst of the greatest scoring run of his career, while the later Englishman seemed to have little petrol left in the tank. Then the back nine on Sunday happened, and everything changed.

How Jon Rahm won the DP World Tour

Shane Lowry made 10 birdies on Sunday, but he had one bogey. Rahm had half as many birdies and zero bogeys, and that last number made the difference. The young Basque played a stellar 132 over the closing 36 holes, eclipsed only by Lowry’s 131. Rahm fearlessly navigated his way around the Jumeirah Estates course, eeking out a one-shot win over Lowry and also hard-charging Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

How the others went home trophy-less

We all want to know about Rose. four birdies on the outward 9-holes staked him to a lead, and the greatest season comeback on a major tour was nearly written. With only three bogeys in his first 63 holes, Rose proceeded to bogey 12, 14 and 16, with only a birdie at the last to bring him to 17-under. He ended up two behind Rahm, and in second place in the Race to Dubai points race. It was a glorious campaign for Rose, and cements him as world player to watch in 2018. The Englishman tied for fourth with Sergio Garcia, Dean Burmeister and Dylan Fritelli, both of South Africa, on 17-under par.

PGA Tour: Cook collects First Tour win in Georgia

Fall is a time for young aspirants to make a mark on the PGA Tour. Austin Cook followed the script, birdieing 3-of-his-final-4 holes to stretch a single-shot lead into a four-stroke triumph. J.J. Spaun, a Web.Com tour graduate in 2017, was in the mix for the second consecutive week. He played well down the stretch, and earned a runner-up finish.

How Cook caught fire

Austin Cook played a veteran front-nine, with one bogey and one birdie. None of the chasers caught him, so the Arkansas alum continued to manage his game in the fairways-greens style. On the inward half, Cook took charge, with birdies at 15, 17 and 18, to move well in front of the runner-up. With the precision of a surgeon, Cook took apart the Sea Island course in impressive fashion. After his second-round 62, many expected him to have one weak round on the weekend, but 66-67 showed the his mettle.

How the others flamed out

Spaun really didn’t flame out, not like last week, when he caught the double-bogey train. A proven winner on other tours, Spaun should win in 2018. His game was solid, mixing in more birdies than bogeys, and his second-place finish was well-earned. Brian Gay might have been more comfortable than any other golfer this week, but he was just as erratic. Case in point: back nine. From holes 13 to 18, Gay made one birdie, two eagles, two pars and one double. Still, his numbers were low enough to secure solo third, one stroke behind Spaun and two in front of the fourth-place finishers.

Ladies European Tour: Boutier sizzles on back nine for win

Celine Boutier imagined a top-10 or top-5 when the third day dawned at Yalong Bay, in China. After bogeys on holes 4 and 5, she needed to gather herself in order to preserve her standing. From this day forward, “gather herself” in the dictionary will forever show a picture of Celine Boutier. Her six-birdie finish vaulted her past all challengers, to her first European Tour victory.

How Boutier bloomed

The recent Duke University graduate posted three rounds in the 60s, the only competitor to achieve that distinction at the Sanya Open. The Frenchwoman didn’t make a bogey until the 15th hole of her second round, but she was stuck in neutral from that hole through the 9th hole on Sunday, making only pars and bogeys. Something clicked at the turn, and Boutier regained the confidence that had produced 10 birdies during the tournament’s first half.

How the others gave chase

Solar Lee was in good standing on Sunday’s outward nine. She bounced back from an opening bogey with three birdies through the 9th, and held the top spot on the leader board at 7-under. Lee reached 9-under through 13, but made bogey at 14 to drop to 8-under. Then came the blossoming of Boutier, and Lee had to be satisfied with the runner-up spot. One spot behind Lee was Valdis Thora Jonsdottir, Iceland’s reigning professional golfer, at 7-under.

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Wednesday’s Photos from The 2017 RSM Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from The 2017 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club — the Seaside course plays as a par 70 measuring 7,005 yards — in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

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Check out out photos from Sea Island G.C. below!

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2017 RSM Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from The 2017 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club — the Seaside course plays as a par 70 measuring 7,005 yards — in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

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Headlined by last week’s OHL Classic champion Patton Kizzire, and 2015 RSM Champion Kevin Kisner, this week’s field is filled with notable names including Ricky Barnes, Zac Blair, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Harris English, Tommy Gainey, Bill Haas, Beau Hossler, Zach Johnson, Smylie Kaufman, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, Ollie Schniederjans, Brandt Snedeker, Hudson Swafford, Bubba Watson and others.

In last year’s RSM Classic, Mackenzie Hughes won in a five-man playoff to secure his first PGA Tour victory. He’s back in the field this year to defend his title.

Check out out photos from Sea Island G.C. below!

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