Rory McIlroy was left with bitter memories of one hole in particular as he shot 74 on Sunday in what is likely to be his last round in the United States for more than six months.
The 22-year-old US Open champion played Atlanta Athletic Club's 475-yard third hole in 6 over par during the PGA Championship -- and the other 17 in the same score. Not only that, but it was also where he injured his right arm hitting against a tree root in the opening round of the season's final major.
McIlroy triple bogeyed it in his last round, going over the green from a bunker and then three-putting from three feet, as he finished well outside the top 50 in an event he went into as clear favorite.
The Northern Ireland star is rejoining the PGA Tour next season, but his next appearance on the circuit may not be until the WGC-Accenture Match Play in late February.
He had talked of going off house-hunting in Florida this coming week, but in a change of plan he was heading off to Cincinnati.
"I hear it's nice this time of year," he said with a smile. It just so happens that tennis world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki is playing there.
"I have basically played 70 holes out of 72 not at 100 percent, so it was frustrating not to be able to play the way I wanted to,” said McIlroy on not achieving what he wanted from the week. “But I got through the tournament and I was proud of that and I am looking forward just to taking a couple of weeks off and making sure that I come back fully fit when I'm ready."
He hopes that will be the Omega European Masters in Switzerland on Sept. 1-4. That event also serves as the first in which players can earn points toward the 2012 European Ryder Cup team.
Asked if he was wiser now after what happened, he replied: "I think so. If I get myself in the position again where there's a tree root right next to my ball, I might think twice about what shot I'm going to play.
"I am going to take a couple of weeks off to rest the wrist. I'm going to Cincinnati for a few days, home for the weekend and then go back out to New York,” he said. "It will be nice and I will enjoy my two weeks off."
Why New York? The U.S. Open tennis begins on Aug. 29, with a warm-up event at nearby Yale University, where Wozniacki has won the last three years.