Rory McIlroy is very, very sorry and promises it will never happen again. Can we let him out of time-out now?
McIlroy, who has been heavily criticized since walking off the course and quitting while having a bad round during the PGA Tour's Honda Classic last Friday, said the pressure of meeting expectations as golf's No. 1 player got the best of him.
"I realized pretty quickly that it wasn't the right thing to do,'' McIlroy, 23, said Wednesday in Doral, Fla., where he will play in the Cadillac Invitational this week. "No matter how bad I was playing, I should have stayed out there. I should have tried to shoot the best score possible even though it probably wasn't going to be good enough to make the cut.
"At that point in time, I was just all over the place, I saw red, it was a mistake and everyone makes mistakes and I'm learning from them. Some people have the pleasure of making mistakes in private. Most of my mistakes are in the public eye.''
McIlroy went on to say he will use the last week as a lesson.
"I actually think in the long run, Friday will be a blessing in disguise. It was like it just sort of released a value and all that sort of 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.... It won't happen again.''
McIlroy said last week that a toothache was what caused him to quit. He said that, while the tooth was sore, "it wasn't bothering me enough to quit.''