No. 1 Golfer McIlroy Walks Off Course

He cities wisdom tooth, but skepticism abounds

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 1, 2013 3:23 PM CST

(Newser) – The world's top-ranked golfer pulled a rare stunt today, calling it quits in the middle of his round and walking off the course. Rory McIlroy withdrew from the Honda Classic, where he's the defending champ, after going 7-over par on his first eight holes, reports USA Today. "There's not really much I can say, guys," he told reporters in the parking lot, reports AP. "I'm not in a good place mentally, you know." Later, though, McIlroy issued a statement blaming a sore wisdom tooth.

So what's going on with the 23-year-old? "Expect a host of explanations, sensible or wild, including his romance with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki," who is also playing poorly, writes John Paul Newport at the Wall Street Journal. Other theories include his switch to Nike clubs in the offseason after a huge endorsement deal, and the extra pressure that comes with being No. 1. Whatever it is, "McIlroy is going to be fine," writes Jay Busbee at Yahoo Sports. "He's got talent, drive, game smarts and a track record of success. We'll just have to accept that his career is less raging locomotive and more roller coaster."

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, watches a tee shot Thursday at the Honda Classic.
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, watches a tee shot Thursday at the Honda Classic.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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