Jack Nicklaus joins chorus of disapproval over Rory McIlroy's withdrawal

World number one quit unexpectedly at the Honda Classic

Palm Beach Gardens

The pain just won't go away for Rory McIlroy. First Tiger Woods warned him to be careful what he says in future and now Jack Nicklaus has weighed in to give the kid who sees him as a father figure an ear bashing.

McIlroy will be reaching for the paracetamol again – for a sore head to go with his toothache – when he hears what Nicklaus had to say about the world No 1's controversial mid-round withdrawal from the Honda Classic here in Florida on Friday. "He shouldn't have walked off the course," Nicklaus said. "If he would have thought about it for five minutes, he probably wouldn't have done it. He's a good kid and tries to do the right thing but unfortunately that wasn't.

"I don't know whether it was a wisdom tooth or whatever. Probably he's so frustrated with what's happening and the way he's played for the last month or so. That would be my assessment although I might be talking out of school." Nicklaus had paid a visit to the course he designed and a tournament that benefits the children's charity run by his wife Barbara.

Nicklaus also ridiculed the theory that McIlroy's new Nike clubs are to blame for his dip in form. "It's easy to blame it on your clubs but I don't buy that," Nicklaus said explaining that he once had a deal to play with different clubs and balls in the United States, Australia and for the Open in the United Kingdom. "It didn't make that much of a difference. Rory's talent is a much greater influence on his game than his clubs. You have to learn to deal with all that stuff. He can play with anything," Nicklaus said. "When the Masters comes around [next month], Rory McIlroy's game will be just fine."

Tiger Woods found himself heading for the exit before the leaders had even teed off yesterday. He fired a final-round 62 last year to finish runner-up to McIlroy. Not this year, though. "I think I passed 62 around the 12th," he said as he continues to tease with the sublime (an eagle at the 18th after a towering, rip-roaring three-iron to 10 feet of the flag) to the ridiculous (two lost balls and back in the pack at four over par). "I feel good with what I did, though," Woods said. "Just had too many penalty shots. Just got to clean up the rounds."

Both Woods and McIlroy will compete again this week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami where Justin Rose is defending champion. They will hope to find some form as the Masters is now just around the corner. Woods has usurped McIlroy as the favourite to win the first major of the year as he attempts to chase down Nicklaus's record 18 major victories. Woods has been stuck on 14 since winning the 2008 US Open.

"I still think he'll break my record," Nicklaus said. "I don't think for Tiger to win four, five, six or seven more is that big of a stretch. He's always been cold-blooded to focus on what he needs to do. No reason why he can't get it done. Let's put it this way," Nicklaus added with a wry grin, "he hasn't won a major for five years. He'd better get on with it."

Lee Westwood didn't get with it at all. Playing in his new home town, he began the final round just two shots off the lead. He finished six shots adrift and tied ninth at two under par with Graeme McDowell and Charl Schwartzel after stalling with a final round of four over par. Fellow Englishmen Rose and David Lynn shared fourth place on three under par.

Victory yesterday went to America's Michael Thompson. The 27-year-old from Tucson, Arizona held off 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy to win his first ever professional tournament. Thompson seized control with a 50-foot eagle putt on the third hole. He stayed in charge with superb par saves early on the back nine and made birdie from the bunker on the last hole for a one-under 69 and a two-shot victory over Ogilvy.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
An iceberg in Ilulissat, Greenland; researchers have been studying the phenomena of the melting glaciers and their long-term ramifications for the rest of the world (Getty)
news
Environment
environment
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Jackman bears his claws and loses the plot in X-Men movie 'The Wolverine'
film
Arts and Entertainment
'Knowledge is power': Angelina Jolie has written about her preventive surgery
film
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing