NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 2, 2013

Frustrated McIlroy walks off course at Honda

(Continued)

tournaments of the year and I regret having to make the decision to withdraw, but it was one I had to make.”

It looked more like

McIlroy was sinking than rounding the corner, not difficult to do on a

course with so many water hazards. And he found plenty of them.

McIlroy,

who opened with a 70, hit two poor chips that led to double bogey on

No. 11, and a wild tee shot to the right led to a bogey on the 13th. His

round really unraveled on the par-4 16th, when he hit his tee shot to

the right and into the water, took a penalty drop and then came up short

of the green and into the water again on his way to a triple bogey. He

three-putted from 40 feet on the 17th, running his first putt about 10 feet by the hole, for a bogey to go 7 over.

And then came the approach on the 18th that found water for the third time on his short day.

McIlroy

is scheduled to play next week in the Cadillac Championship at Doral,

which has no cut, and then the Houston Open. But on the first day of March, he left having completed only round of competition.

“I didn’t think much of the equipment change. We’ve all made equipment

changes before,” said Els, who has used three brands of clubs to win

majors. “I think there was a bit of criticism somewhere, and then I

think he’s further responding to that, and I think he’s got a bit of

pressure coming on him that way. I thought he played quite well yesterday. I thought he was pretty close to playing good golf, and unfortunately this morning ... hopefully he gets it together. We’ve got next week, got four rounds there. Such a talented player. He’ll get it

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