Saturday, 19 August, 2017

Rory McIlroy says he might not play again this season

Back spasms could sideline McIlroy until next year Rory McIlroy might not play again this season
Damon Campbell | 14 August, 2017, 01:13

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri carded one-over 72 to be tied 33rd in the first round of the PGA Championship at the Quail Hollow Club here on Thursday.

McIlroy feels he has "a sense of duty" to defend the FedExcup title he won in spectacular style on the eve of the Ryder Cup a year ago, when he followed up his win at the Deutsche Bank Championship with a thrilling play-off victory over Ryan Moore at the season-ending Tour Championship.

"I don't know what I'm going to do", said McIlroy, who suffered the rib/back injury testing equipment over the winter.

"I thought conditions were just as tough, if not tougher this morning, as they were yesterday", said McIlroy, whose only major victory when trailing after 36 holes came when he was two behind in the 2012 US PGA.

"Right now I can feel my left rhomboid going into spasm", McIlroy said after closing with a 3-under 68 at Quail Hollow.

McIlroy began the week 43rd in the FedEx Cup rankings and needs to be in the top 30 to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship in late September.

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"I definitely haven't driven the ball well enough the last few days to give myself chances for birdies and build a score". April is a long way away. That's the next big thing on my radar.

McIlroy was referring to the Masters, which is the only major championship he hasn't won, meaning a Masters win would complete the career Grand Slam for him. I got back playing and it felt okay through the Masters. "But then at the same time, if you are not capable of playing at your best, why should you play?" he said. "I've got this next week off to assess what I need to go forward". "Got back and playing it felt OK through the Masters". McIlroy believes he practiced too much too soon, and he said he would have to spend the rest of the year managing his practice time and his fitness. If I was injury-free, that wouldn't happen. But once I get done, having to go through the whole routine of getting it ready to go again the next day, you shouldn't have to do that. He discovered a slight rib fracture after a playoff loss in the South African Open and he took seven weeks off to let it heal.

"So it's there and I can play 18 holes, as I said, I warm it up, it's okay".

McIlroy put off seeing a doctor to focus on preparing for the PGA Championship, but was flying home Sunday night for Northern Ireland to seek medical advice.

"I can feel it", he said.

"I had a little bit of a mini-rally at the end which I needed, but the four bogeys on the front nine that's just down to being out of position off the tee and not being able to get it very close with my second shot". So I just need to hit some more fairways tomorrow. I wanted to play the season.

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