Rory McIlroy admits Honda Classic walk-off was 'not the right thing to do'

World number one left the course before completing nine holes

Rory McIlroy has admitted withdrawing from the Honda Classic last week was “not the right thing to do”.

McIlroy claimed he was "in a bad place mentally" after pulling out of the defence of his title midway through his second round, but later released a statement to say a sore wisdom tooth was the reason for his early exit.

The world number one had played the opening eight holes of his round in seven over par, before finding a water hazard on the 18th and immediately quitting the tournament.

He concedes, in hindsight, he made a mistake, telling Sports Illustrated: "It was a reactive decision.

"What I should have done is take my drop, chip it on, try to make a five and play my hardest on the back nine, even if I shot 85.

"What I did was not good for the tournament, not good for the kids and the fans who were out there watching me - it was not the right thing to do."

McIlroy has 14 days from the date of the withdrawal to submit written evidence to the PGA Tour to support his claim of medical grounds, with a fine or suspension possible if the body is not satisfied with his explanation.

It was his first ever withdrawal from a tournament as a professional, but follows on from losing in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship to Shane Lowry and missing the cut in the Abu Dhabi Championship in his first event since signing a lucrative deal with Nike.

The Northern Irishman, who is scheduled to play in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral this weekend, has dismissed suggestions his poor form is down to his change in equipment.

He added: "The driver and the ball took some time to get used to, but I had weeks at Nike before the start of the year, and I feel comfortable with all the equipment.

"The problem is, I'm bringing the club too upright on the backswing then dropping it in too much on the downswing."

PA

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