Rory out with rib injury as Tiger gets ready to roar again
Rory McIlroy will not compete at next week's big Dubai Desert Classic. The Ulsterman missed last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with injury and is not yet fit to return.
A post on the European Tour's official Twitter account read: "Rory McIlroy has confirmed he will not play next week's @OmegaDDC as he continues to recover from a rib injury."
McIlroy competed in the BMW SA Open in Gauteng, where he finished runner-up after losing a play-off to England's Graeme Storm.
That was his only action since wrapping up last season with top-10 finishes at the WGC-HSBC Champions and the World Tour Championship in Dubai, as tests after the South African event revealed a stress fracture of a rib.
He said at the time he was following advice to "rest until my rib has fully recovered", and it will see him absent this week as well.
The event still boasts star power, with former world number one Tiger Woods stepping up his comeback to competitive golf in a field which also includes defending champion Danny Willett - also the reigning Masters champion - and Race to Dubai winner Henrik Stenson.
It's 12 years since Woods - who makes his comeback from injury at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines starting on Thursday - won his last Masters. "I've been thinking about it," Woods said.
"Once the season ends, I start thinking about what I need to do to get ready for Augusta.
"In the back of my head I'm getting ready for Augusta," he added.