McIlroy sorry after club rage
World number one Rory McIlroy apologised for throwing his three iron into a water hazard after more erratic play in the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Friday.
McIlroy had just recorded his third birdie of the day to get back to level par for the tournament when he pulled his approach to the par-five eighth - a hole he had eagled on Thursday - into the water.
And after a few seconds' thought the 25-year-old then hurled the offending club into the same stretch of water on his way to recording a six, his third bogey of the day.
McIlroy recovered to card a round of 70 to lie one under par.
"Frustration got the better of me," he told Sky Sports. "Following on from last week I feel like it's very close and to hit shots like that you get frustrated, but I shouldn't have did what I did.
"It all bottled up and had to let it go somehow and that's what happened. I don't feel good about doing it but I will hopefully have a new three iron on the way in the morning and be able to got out and play with another one.
"I wouldn't encourage kids at home to do the same thing."
It is not the first time McIlroy's frustrations have got the better of him. At the US Open in 2013 he apologised for throwing one club and leaning so hard on another during the final round that he bent the shaft out of shape.
And that came just months after he walked off the course midway through the second round of the Honda Classic, where he was defending champion, telling reporters he was in "a bad place mentally" before his management company issued a statement blaming toothache.
McIlroy missed the cut in the Honda Classic last week and struggled to an opening 73 at Doral, but looked to be getting back on track when he began his second round with two straight birdies.
However, the four-time major winner then bogeyed the third after driving into the water and three-putted the fourth before the frustrations of the course known as the 'Blue Monster' truly took their toll on the eighth.
McIlroy added on Sky Sports 4: " You can see I'm aiming left to try and cut it and it's been frustrating this week because the shots I want to cut I draw, and the shots I want to draw I cut. I'm just not quite there with the swing the way I want to and another ball in the water wasn't good.
"(I have) another couple of rounds just to try and find a little bit of rhythm. I'm a little behind at the minute but it seems like the scores are quite spread out so if I can get off to a decent start tomorrow you never know."
Despite all the drama McIlroy ended up moving closer to the lead, with American JB Holmes finding water four times and running up a double bogey on the 18th to add a 73 to his opening 62.
That left Holmes on nine under par, two shots ahead of compatriot Ryan Moore with former Masters champion Adam Scott a shot behind after a 68.
The Australian is making his first start of the season after an extended break due to the birth of his first child, but also made light of switching to a short putter ahead of the ban on anchored strokes which comes into effect in 2016.
"I've been playing a lot of golf at home with friends and family, thinking about it a lot and trying to come out better than I left last year. I've been working hard on a few things and managed to take it from the range to the course this week so far.
"I putted well in the past with a short one, but felt I was very streaky. I had hot rounds and really poor rounds with the putter and the long putter just got me some consistency, taught me a few fundamentals I think for putting and I've managed to adapt that with the short one.
"I had all that time at home to fiddle around and get comfortable with it so I thought I may as well make the adjustment now rather than stress at the end of this year."
McIlroy's playing partners Bubba Watson and Henrik Stenson were both five off the lead on four under, Watson carding a 69 which featured no birdies, two eagles and one bogey.