DORAL, Fla. — As if quitting in the middle of a golf tournament didn’t bring Rory McIlroy enough attention, it might not let up on the golf course.
McIlroy has been going through damage control the past five days after his abrupt departure when he was 7-over par through eight holes and decided to call it quits at the Honda Classic. After an apology to Sports Illustrated, he faced the media on Wednesday and took all the blame.
“I actually think in the long run, Friday will be a blessing in disguise," he said, referring to the day he withdrew last week. “It was like it just sort of released a valve, and all that pressure that I’ve been putting on myself just went away. And I was like, ‘Just go out and have fun. It’s not life or death out there. It’s only a game.’
“I had sort of forgotten that this year."
The world’s No. 1 player won’t be able to escape the spotlight when the Cadillac Championship gets under way today at Doral.
This World Golf Championship tends to group the top players in the world ranking, meaning McIlroy gets to spend the opening two rounds with Tiger Woods and Luke Donald.
Woods is coming off a mediocre performance in the Honda Classic, failing to break par in any of the four rounds on his way to a tie for 37th. He is a three-time winner at Doral and had never finished out of the top 10 until he withdrew after 11 holes last year with tightness in his left Achilles tendon.
— The Associated Press