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Dublin: 10°C Saturday 15 May 2021

Jack Nicklaus: McIlroy should not have walked off the course on Friday

The Golden Bear said that if McIlroy “had thought about it for 5 minutes, he wouldn’t have done it.”

Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

JACK NICKLAUS SAYS that Rory McIlroy should not have walked off the course midway through his second round at the Honda Classic on Palm Beach on Friday.

The world number one is expected to explain to the media on Tuesday why he left the tournament after shooting seven-over-par in his first eight holes.

McIlroy claimed that wisdom tooth pain was the reason behind his departure, although he has not had an auspicious start to the season, failing to make Saturday in any of the three tournaments he has participated in so far.

“He shouldn’t have walked off,” Nicklaus said in the NBC broadcast booth during Sunday’s final round. “If he had thought about it for 5 minutes, he wouldn’t have done it.

“He’s a good kid. And he tries to do the right thing.”

McIlroy has had issues with both his swing and new Nike equipment in recent months, but Nicklaus does not believe those were the reasons behind his controversial decision to opt out in Round Two.

“If you’re too good a player, the clubs won’t make too much of a difference,” said Nicklaus.

“I always felt that if you were talented enough, the clubs wouldn’t be a problem. And he’s too talented a player.

“He’s a little frustrated with himself (but) when Augusta rolls around, he’ll be fine.”

In pictures: Ireland at the European Indoor Championships >

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