Rory McIlroy faced the media at Doral on Wednesday to set the record straight about his surprising withdrawal from last week's Honda Classic.
Some might say Rory McIlroy acted like a spoiled young athlete when he took his golf ball and went home last Friday, withdrawing from the Honda Classic midway through his second round.
His reasons for leaving were that he wasn't there mentally and, he was experiencing extreme pain due to an impacted wisdom tooth.
The biggest pain in the days that followed, it turns out, was a bruised ego due to the backlash the world's No. 1 player received as a result of the withdrawal.
Well, whatever bad feelings people had over the incident, McIlroy deserves a tip of the cap for the way he took ownership of his mistake in a press conference at Doral on Wednesday morning.
Asked difficult question after difficult question, McIlroy did what's expected of elite-athlete role models. He faced the music, gave honest answers and vowed it would never happen again.
CBSSports.com golf blogger Kyle Porter put together a nice recap of the McIlroy presser. Here's some of it:
This is pretty much the same thing he told Sports Illustrated on Sunday. He continued and talked a little bit about his wisdom tooth issue:
I wasn't in a good place with my golf game. Mentally my head was all over the place. At the same time I have been struggling with my lower right wisdom tooth for over a year. I had braces on for six months last year to try and relieve a bit of the pressure on it. I'm taking medication until I get home to Northern Ireland and see my dentist who would be the only guy that I would trust to take it out. My tooth was bothering me but it wasn't bothering me enough to probably quit but that's just the way it is.
That's basically what everyone had surmised about two minutes after he walked off the course last week. As for why it happened, McIlroy had this to say:
It was a buildup of everything. I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform and I've been working so hard and not really getting much out of it, that's just been the frustrating thing. That's sort of what happened. It was a buildup of high expectations from myself coming off the back of such a great last year and wanting to continue that form into this year and not being able to do it.
I just sort of let it all get to me.
It's not the first time he's let the game get to him either, he talked openly about last season:
It's the same thing as last summer, Dave Stockton said to me 'when I see you out there you're not smiling, smile more.' When I smile it lifts the spirits and that was basically the whole turnaround from last summer was my attitude. When you start to enjoy your golf you start to play better.