London: Rory McIlroy will face the media on Wednesday for the first time since his shock withdrawal from the Honda Classic last week.
McIlroy claimed he was “in a bad place mentally” after pulling out of the defence of his title midway through his second round, but later released a statement to say a sore wisdom tooth was the reason for his early exit.
The world No. 1 had played the opening eight holes of his round in seven over par, before finding a water hazard on the 18th and immediately quitting the tournament.
It was McIlroy’s first ever withdrawal from a tournament as a professional, but follows on from losing in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship to Shane Lowry and missing the cut in the Abu Dhabi Championship in his first event since signing a multi-million pound deal with Nike.
McIlroy has 14 days from the date of the withdrawal to submit written evidence to the PGA Tour to support his claim of medical grounds, with a fine or suspension possible if the body is not satisfied with his explanation.
But a more public explanation is also on the cards with the 23-year-old scheduled to give a pre-tournament press conference at 2pm GMT ahead of the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Wednesday.
Assuming he is fit to play, the Northern Irishman is at least guaranteed four rounds at Doral, as the $8.5million event — won last year by Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose — has no cut.
Earlier, after walking off the course and withdrew from the Honda Classic after dropping seven shots in his first eight holes on Friday, McIlroy said in a statement, “It began bothering me again last night. 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.”
McIlroy, who was said to be suffering with severe pain from a wisdom tooth, later tweeted that the pain had been too great to allow him to play.
“A tough day made impossible by severe tooth pain. Was desperate to defend title but couldn’t play on. Gutted.”
The PGA Tour said it was the first time the Northern Irishman had withdrawn from a tournament.
McIlroy shot an even-par 70 on Thursday in the opening round at PGA National before a triple bogey, a double bogey and two pars on Friday morning.
After hitting his approach shot into the water on the 18th, his ninth hole of the day, McIlroy walked off the course with his coach and caddie.