Rory McIlroy withdrew from the Honda Classic after playing just nine holes in the second round on Friday. There's no question the tournament and PGA Tour are disappointed in his departure because it will mean a decrease in ratings this weekend, but if you happened to be on Twitter at the time, it was worth not getting to see him this weekend.
As is custom on social media sites, when a story breaks - good or bad - people are going to talk and chime in with their opinions and so many of them can be absurd.
I saw everything from "Rory must be having lady problems" to "Rory must be too hung over" to the logical "Rory must have some type of injury."
We all waited impatiently for McIlroy to release a statement on why he up and left so abruptly and just as all the absurd speculation was making the turn from funny to pandering, the statement finally dropped.
What was so pressing in McIlroy's life that turned him into a bogey machine and forced him to withdraw?
A wisdom tooth.
And it's not joke. If you've ever had an infected or impacted wisdom tooth, you know doing anything besides complaining and wishing you could rip it out is nearly impossible.
Here's his statement:
“I sincerely apoloize to The Honda Classic and PGA TOUR for my sudden withdrawal. I have been suffering with a sore wisdom tooth, which is due to come out in the near future. It began bothering me again last night, so I relieved it with Advil. It was very painful again this morning, and I was simply unable to concentrate. It was really bothering me and had begun to affect my playing partners. I came here with every intention of defending my Honda Classic title. Even though my results haven't revealed it, I really felt like I was rounding a corner. This is one of my favorite tournaments of the year and I regret having to make the decision to withdraw, but it was one I had to make.”
I don't know how it was affecting his playing partners, but if the defending champion says it was, I'll just take his word for it. If it was that bad, there's no way an Advil was going to make enough of a difference to let him continue to play. For a guy of McIlroy's stature, I would imagine he could get that tooth taken out anytime he wanted and wouldn't need to wait for the "near future."
McIlroy has not had a very good start to the 2013 season and this just adds to it. I am beginning to wonder if it's due to early season rust or if he's still not totally used to playing with Nike clubs just yet. We've heard many pros over the years talk about taking club endorsement deals and it affecting their game because they couldn't hit their sponsored clubs as good as the ones they had before. Sometimes, it's a simple thing like that that can take you from contention to struggling at the cut line.
I don't think that's going to happen with McIlroy, but time will tell. A golfer of his talent should be able to play any club at a high level and it's something I'll keep an eye on this year.