x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

McIlroy regrets rough play

After being assured he could do no additional damage to the wrist he injured playing out of the rough, Rory McIlroy is still swinging away at the US PGA Championship.

Rory McIlroy, his right wrist heavily taped, stumbled to a three-over-73 on Friday for a two-day total of 143 at the US PGA Championship.
Rory McIlroy, his right wrist heavily taped, stumbled to a three-over-73 on Friday for a two-day total of 143 at the US PGA Championship.

ATLANTA // After being assured he could do no additional damage, Rory McIlroy teed off yesterday in the second round of the US PGA Championship with a heavily taped right wrist.

The US Open champion was injured while taking an ill-advised swing in the opening round at Atlanta Athletic Club, striking his ball against a thick tree root on the third hole.

He decided to play Friday after testing his wrist on the driving range, finishing three over for a two-day total of 143.

"It's the last major of the year," McIlroy said. "I've got, what, six or seven months to the Masters? So I might as well try and play through the pain, and get it over and done with."

After the injury, McIlroy finished the first round at even-par 70, then went to get an MRI, which showed a strained tendon.

Cornell Driessen, a physical therapist on the European Tour, said the MRI showed no torn of tendons, and there was no danger of McIlroy injuring the wrist more seriously by continuing to play.

That was good enough for the 22 year old from Northern Ireland, and he showed up on the range about half an hour before his morning tee time Friday, cutting in half his typical warm-up session.

He hit shots for 15 minutes before heading to the putting green, followed by about two dozen media.

McIlroy was injured at the third hole after driving into the trees left of the fairway. Instead of punching back into the fairway, he decided to take a shot at the green, planning to drop his club as soon as he made contact.

He held on to it a split-second too long, jamming his wrist and sending pain all the way up to his shoulder.

"In hindsight," McIlroy recalled, "it would have been better to chip out sideways."

The ball only went about 20 yards behind more trees, and McIlroy immediately began shaking his right hand.

Before long, he noticed swelling by the wrist, and a throbbing that stretched all the day up to his shoulder.

"It was dangerous," McIlroy said. "It was a shot that I felt like, if I took it on and pulled it off, it could have saved me a shot."

McIlory held an ice compress against his wrist between shots for the rest of the round on Thursday.

Friday, playing again in a group with two other major champions, Charl Schwartzel, the Masters winner, and Darren Clarke, the British Open winner, McIlroy started on the back side and finished his first eight holes at two over par.

He made a three-putt bogey at the 10th, but he got back to even par with a birdie at the par-five 12th, hacking out of the rough and rolling in a 20-foot putt from just off the green. He went to one under for the day with a birdie at 16th, but faltered at the 17th, taking a triple-bogey six.

Also Friday, JB Holmes and Rocco Mediate withdrew because of illness. Mediate shot a nine-over 79 in the opening round, and Holmes shot an 80. Both were unlikely to make the cut.

Brandt Snedeker was late for his tee time and was assessed a two-stroke penalty. Tournament officials said Snedeker showed up two minutes, 15 seconds late for his 8.10am tee time. He was playing with Jose Maria Olazabal and Robert Karlsson.

Snedeker shot a four-over 74 in the opening round, and the penalty hurt his chances of making the cut.