WORLD NUMBER ONE Rory McIlroy sensationally quit the Honda Classic this afternoon after a nightmare start to his second round.
McIlroy was seven-over par after his first eight holes on Friday, including a double-bogey on the 11th and a triple-bogey on the 16th.
After his approach shot to 18 — his ninth hole of the round — found the water, he walked off the course without putting out.
In a short statement, McIlroy apologised and said that he was suffering from wisdom tooth pain which flared up again on Thursday night.
“I was simply unable to concentrate,” he said.
The two-time Major winner was at PGA National to defend the title which he won last year, shooting to the top of the world golf rankings for the first time in his young career.
But now the pressure is bound to increase following a disappointing start to 2013, his first season since signing a new multi-million equipment deal with Nike which has been valued at $250m over 10 years.
He missed the cut in his first tournament, the HSBC Championship, and faced a series of questions about his new clubs after he was spotted using his old Scotty Cameron putter during the second round in Abu Dhabi.
McIlroy’s struggles continued when he was knocked out of last week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play by Offaly’s Shane Lowry in the first round.