Belfast Telegraph

Injured Rory McIlroy ruled out of Wentworth

 

By Robert Jones

Rory McIlroy will miss next week's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth due to an on-going rib injury that plagued him at last week's Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

The World No.2 suffered the problem in the off-season after hitting a lot of balls in practice trying to decide on new equipment after former supplier Nike stopped producing clubs last year, but he started the season as scheduled regardless.

It flared up as he lost a play-off to Graeme Storm at the BMW South African Open in January and he did not feature again until the WGC-Mexico Championship in March where he finished four shots behind winner Dustin Johnson.

The 28-year-old Ulsterman resumed an active schedule but felt discomfort during the second round at TPC Sawgrass last week and, despite a scan revealing he has suffered no new injury, he will not now tee it up at the European Tour's flagship event on Thursday.

“Having had a reaction to my earlier rib injury, I have been advised to take a conservative approach to my recovery which unfortunately means I have to withdraw from the BMW PGA Championship next week,” said McIlroy.

“It’s a disappointing decision to have to make but I have to ensure I make a full recovery. I will now continue the process of preparing my game for the US Open and the rest of the season.”

McIlroy is a previous winner at Wentworth, with his victory in 2014 kicking off a brilliant summer that saw him claim the Open Championship, the US PGA Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “There is no question that Rory will be missed at the BMW PGA Championship but his health is the most important thing and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

There are now questions over how long this latest setback will affect McIlroy, who is still short on game time despite returning from the injury before.

With the US Open, which will be held at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, only four weeks away it means McIlroy will need to make a rapid recovery to be back in competitive form before the second Major of the year.

The Holywood golfer is scheduled to play in The Memorial Tournament in Ohio in a fortnight before taking a week off before the US Open, however if he is still unfit at that stage he may have to play a week later at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis instead.

It wouldn’t be ideal preparation, but McIlroy would need some competitive rounds under his belt before his tilt at a fifth Major title.

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