Published Tuesday, 05 March 2013
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It has been reported that the Co Down star said he was "in a bad place mentally", but he later released a statement blaming severe wisdom tooth pain for his withdrawal from the tournament.
The decision to quit came after McIlroy went seven over after eight holes, then found the water at the ninth. He took a drop shot, made the green, but handed over his scorecard without putting.
In hindsight, he concedes that was a mistake.
What I did was not good for the tournament, not good for the kids and the fans who were out there watching me - it was not the right thing to do.
"It was a reactive decision," McIlroy told Sports Illustrated.
"What I should have done is take my drop, chip it on, try to make a five and play my hardest on the back nine - even if I shot 85."
He has 14 days from the date of withdrawal to submit written evidence to the PGA Tour, supporting his medical reason for quitting.
If Tour organisers are not satisfied with the explanation, McIlroy could face a fine or suspension.
The 23-year-old has recently lost out in the first round of the WGC Match Play Championship in Arizona, having been defeated by the Republic of Ireland's Shane Lowry.
He also missed the cut in the Abu Dhabi Championship - his first event since signing a lucrative deal with Nike. But he's dismissed suggestions his new clubs, supplied by the sponsor, are behind his poor form.
"The driver and the ball took some time to get used to, but I had weeks at Nike before the start of the year and I feel comfortable with all the equipment," McIlroy said.
"The problem is, I'm bringing the club too upright on the backswing then dropping it in too much on the downswing."
He's now scheduled to play in the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral this weekend.