Rory McIlroy has withdrawn from the Honda Classic before completing even his first nine holes of the second round. He walked off of the course after hitting two consecutive shots in the water on the 18th hole, which was his ninth of the day. Those first nine holes included two bogeys, a double and a triple bogey and those two balls in the water. Before leaving, McIlroy was seven over par on the day, and that’s not even counting the 18th hole where he put two in the water. It is being reported that McIlroy walked off of the course and left immediately left the grounds in a blue BMW.
I’d really like to give McIlroy the benefit of the doubt for withdrawing in the middle of a tournament where he’s playing so incredibly poorly, but I’m finding it very difficult. I’d really like to think that he has some minor injury and decided he just can’t play through it at the level to which he is accustomed. Unfortunately, my gut tells me that McIlroy decided to behave like an insolent child who decided to quit because he wasn’t playing well.
Many people were of the belief that the move to Nike equipment would be an easy one for the number one golfer in the world. Had he finished his second round, it would have been the second consecutive event where he missed the cut. Something is clearly off with McIlroy’s game, but it can’t all be attributed to the switch in golf clubs.
According to the rules of the PGA Tour, because he left in the middle of his round, McIlroy will be required to submit a medical reason for his withdrawal within 14 days. It will be interesting to see what explanation is given, especially considering that McIlroy has just made an announcement that he left the event because “he’s not mentally there”. A full statement is expected from McIlroy soon. This is the first time in his career he has withdrawn from an event.