Palm Beach Gardens - World No. 1 and defending champion Rory McIlroy withdrew from the US
PGA Honda Classic during his second round on Friday, saying he was
struggling due to pain from a sore wisdom tooth.
through the back nine on Friday, his opening nine holes of the round,
and hit his approach at the 18th into water. He then walked off the
course and quickly departed the grounds with his coach and caddie.
sincerely apoloize to The Honda Classic and PGA Tour for my sudden
withdrawal," McIlroy said. "I have been suffering with a sore wisdom
tooth, which is due to come out in the near future."
VIDEO: Honda Classic - highlights
It was the
first time in his career that McIlroy has withdrawn from a tournament
and it comes as the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland struggles to find
his form after switching to Nike equipment for this season.
is a 6-1 co-favorite with 14-time major champion Tiger Woods in next
month's Masters, but the tooth issue could dim his bid to add to a major
haul that includes the 2011 US Open and 2012 PGA Championship.
began bothering me again last night," said McIlroy. "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."
gave no hint as to how the injury might impact his plans for playing in
the weeks leading up to the year's first major tournament at Augusta
He had plans to play next week in a World Golf
Championships event at nearby Doral and the Houston Open in the week
before the Masters, but gave no hint if that was still the case in his
statement, or in a later Twitter posting.
"Apologies to all at the
Honda. A tough day made impossible by severe tooth pain," McIlroy
tweeted. "Was desperate to defend title but couldn't play on. Gutted."
gutting for McIlroy was the fact the pain flared as he was trying to
defend the title he won a year ago to put himself atop the world
rankings for the first time in his career.
"I came here with every
intention of defending my Honda Classic title," said McIlroy. "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
McIlroy endured a horror-show start on Friday alongside
South Africa's Ernie Els, the reigning British Open champion, and
American Mark Wilson.
At the par-4 11th, he nearly put his approach into the water, then chipped across the green on his way to a double bogey.
On the par-4 13th, McIlroy went way to the right off the tee and missed a six-foot par putt.
a pair of pars, he put his tee shot into the water at the par-4 16th,
then took a drop and put his third shot into the water as well on the
way to a triple bogey.
At the par-3 17th, the Northern Irishman
three-putted from 42 feet for bogey to stand seven-over par for the
round through eight holes.
McIlroy, who missed the cut in his
first 2013 start at Abu Dhabi and lost in the first round of the WGC
Match Play Championship last week, opened with a par-70 on Thursday but
admitted he was still working on his timing and adjusting to his new
"It's hard to commit to the shot that you need to play
every time," McIlroy said Thursday. "I felt like I hit the ball OK, not
as good as I can, but it's getting there."