So give credit to Rory McIlroy and his team for facing what happened at the Honda Classic head-on in the days following his early Friday exit. McIlroy, the No. 1 golfer in the world, was playing some poor golf at the tournament he won a season ago, eventually walking off the golf course after completing just eight holes on Friday. Initially he told reporters one thing, but the word from his people and the PGA Tour was that Rory was struggling with "severe wisdom tooth pain affecting concentration."
We've heard from Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and just about every talking head on TV, but finally we get to hear Rory's side of the story.
Golf.com's Michael Bamberger chatted with the two-time major winner on the phone for 25 minutes on Sunday, and McIlroy admitted that what he didn't wasn't the right approach.
"It was a reactive decision," McIlroy said. "What I should have done is take my drop, chip it on, try to make a five and play my hardest on the back nine, even if I shot 85. What I did was not good for the tournament, not good for the kids and the fans who were out there watching me -- it was not the right thing to do."
Like I've said before, we all get frustrated on the golf course. We've all wanted to walk off, or have walked off, or thought about giving up when the round wasn't going our way, and even though it was a bad call by McIlroy, at least the young man admits what he didn't wasn't what this game is about. No matter if you're hitting a root at the PGA Championship and fighting on (remember, Rory did that) or battling a toothache, you still want to finish your round before deciding you've had enough.
And what about all that news that it's the Nike equipment's fault that McIlroy is playing so poorly?
"The driver and the ball took some time to get used to, but I had weeks at Nike before the start of the year, and I feel comfortable with all the equipment," he said. "The problem is, I’m bringing the club too upright on the backswing then dropping it in too much on the downswing."
McIlroy is scheduled to play this week at the WGC-CA Championship at Doral, and expected to talk to all the media on Wednesday.
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