Rory McIlroy withdraws from Honda Classic (updated)

March 1, 2013

And … Rory McIlroy is outta there. (Stuart Franklin / Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy, the world’s No. 1 golfer, abruptly withdrew from the Honda Classic midway through his round this morning.

McIlroy was having a dismal day, shooting seven over par through the first eight holes at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., but initially offered only a mysterious explanation for his withdrawal as he left the course.

“There’s not really say much I can say, guys,” he said (via Golf Week) in the parking lot and added cryptically, “I’m not in a good place mentally, you know?”

McIlroy told reporters nothing was physically and, asked about his swing getting stuck, he answered, “Yeah, I really don’t know what’s going on.”

Later, in a statement, he said he was having pain from a wisdom tooth:

“I sincerely apologize to the Honda Classic and PGA Tour for my sudden withdrawal. I have been suffering with a sore wisdom tooth, which is due to come out in the near future. It began bothering me 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.”

Later, he tweeted:

McIlroy’s par 70 on Thursday matched No. 2 Tiger Woods’s score and McIlroy had pronounced his round “okay.” “If I can go out Friday and shoot a good one,” McIlroy said Thursday (via the Miami Herald), “and put myself into position going into the weekend, it will be nice. But we’ll see what happens in the morning.” What happened this morning was … nothing good.

McIlroy, who switched to Nike clubs in the offseason, is 0-for-3 so far in 2013. He missed the cut in Abu Dhabi and was knocked out in the first round of the WGC Match Play a week ago. On Thursday night, he tweeted:

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | March 1, 2013