Rory McIlroy lost the BMW South African Open when he missed a putt on the third playoff hole against Graeme Storm. The loss isn’t very concerning for McIlroy, but during the tournament McIlroy tweaked his back and considered withdrawing.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 15, 2017
Afterwards, McIlroy said the injury was manageable on the course but he will be getting a MRI ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship to make sure nothing major is wrong.
“I am going for a scan tomorrow. I fly to Dubai tonight and then will go for an MRI tomorrow just to see what’s up with this joint in my back. It was manageable this week with tape and a few pills, so I am fine, but first and foremost I have to get fully fit and healthy again and hopefully I’ll be all right to play next week.”
“We will see what happens, but like I said, it is manageable with the tape and a few anti-inflammatories, but it’s not 100 percent.”
McIlroy, who is currently ranked second in the world, is scheduled to play in Abu Dhabi along with Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, and Danny Willett. A win could move McIlroy back to first ahead of Jason Day in the world rankings, a rank he hasn’t held since the 2015 U.S. Open.
“Part of me really wants to make this week because there is so much to play for, but at the same time there is so much to play for over the whole season and I don’t want to jeopardize long-term goals for short-term gain. Hopefully I’ll be good to go.”
McIlroy won the Deutsche Bank Championship and Tour Championship to finish last season and claimed the FedExCup. He then played extremely well in the Ryder Cup, and in the three events he’s started since has finished tied for fourth, tied for ninth, and second. He is currently set at 8/1 odds to win the Masters according to TopBet.eu.
Update: ESPN’s Bob Harig is reporting that McIlroy has a rib injury and will not play this week in Abu Dhabi.
This is probably not the way McIlroy envisioned starting 2017, but pushing through an injury only leads to more problems in the future and with the Masters only three months away it is better to be cautious than risk further injury.