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Rory McIlroy walks out of PGA Honda Classic, citing ‘wisdom tooth pain’

03.01.13 at 2:04 pm ET
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World No. 1-ranked golfer Rory McIlroy walked off the course in the middle of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on Friday, withdrawing after going 7 over par and citing “wisdom tooth pain” as the reason he left.

In the parking lot, he told reporters, “I’m not in a great place mentally. I can’t really say much, guys. I’m just in a bad place mentally.”

McIlroy later released a statement explaining the situation.

“I sincerely apologize,” the statement read. “I have been suffering with a sore wisdom tooth, which is due to come out in the near future. It began bothering me again 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. 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 make.”

“It’s unfortunate,” said McIlroy’s playing partner, Ernie Els. “I’m a great fan of Rory’s, but I don’t think that was the right thing to do. He’s feeling terrible about it, I know he is. That’s the last thing he wants to do is walk off. Yeah, if he’s 7-over or whatever he was, you’ve got something bothering you, you know, the rules of play, you can walk off at any time.

“Obviously something was seriously bothering him, and he was not going to make the cut and probably didn’t want to continue playing that way.”

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