Rory McIlroy withdraws from Abu Dhabi Championship

Irish golfer Rory McIlroy has pulled out of the Abu Dhabi Championship because of a rib injury.

The Northern Irishman had tests on Monday after complaining about back pain during the South Africa Open, in which he lost in a play-off.

McIlroy has sustained a stress fracture and must now begin a rehabilitation programme.

“It’s bitterly disappointing. I think everyone knows how much I love playing this tournament,” said the 27-year-old.

“In situations like this you simply have to listen to the experts, and the team I have consulted have all advised me to rest until my rib has fully recovered.”

McIlroy has been runner-up at the Abu Dhabi Championship four times.

He had initially said he suspected his problem was fatigue after an off-season during which he hit a lot of balls in practice trying to decide on new equipment.

He played in Johannesburg with his back taped up and having taken anti-inflammatory tablets.

Defending champion Rickie Fowler and fellow American Dustin Johnson are among those due to play in Abu Dhabi.


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