Rory McIlroy withdraws from Honda Classic

Rory McIlroy's early-season struggles continue. (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy's early-season struggles continue. (Getty Images)

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Rory McIlroy withdrew from the Honda Classic on Friday after posting a +7 score through eight holes.

This marks the third consecutive tournament that he has bowed out of early, and the Rory-hating vultures are surely encircling his half-alive golf game.

McIlroy told reporters on his way to his car that he was not in a good place mentally.

McIlroy added there's nothing physically wrong. When asked about his swing, McIlroy said, "Yeah, I really don't know what's going on."

Later, the PGA Tour tweeted that McIlroy withdrew due to wisdom-tooth pain. It's not a good look for the tour to have its second-most-popular player and the No. 1 golfer in the world walking off the course in the middle of a round. 

McIlroy issued the following statement: 

"I sincerely apologize 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..."

McIlroy must provide a doctor's note to the PGA Tour within 14 days to avoid being fined. Yes, the PGA Tour requires a doctor's note to avoid punishment for withdrawing from a tournament. 

Here's the thing, though. In terms of golf (outside of the withdrawal), what you need to remember, this is who Rory McIlroy is.

He has always been an incredibly streaky golfer, and his monster deal with Nike in the offseason was never going to change that.

Let's take a look at the last three years of his PGA Tour career:

2010: Four missed cuts (two majors), two top 5s, one win. 
2011: One missed cut, one top 5, one win.
2012: Three missed cuts, four top 5s, four wins.

McIlroy is not the cut-making top-10 machine that Nike would have us to believe he was -- the golfer that Tiger Woods has been his entire career. 

This graphic from the Golf Channel depicting the beginning of the careers of Woods and McIlroy says it all:

Also, it seems like there wasn't an injury. Rory just wasn't getting the job done (No. 18 was his ninth hole).

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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