Published Friday, 01 March 2013
Rory mcIlroy hands in his scorecard before walking off course. (© Getty)
The defending champion was seven over after eight holes on Friday, and then ended up in the water at the ninth (played at the course's 18th hole).
After taking a drop, McIlroy reached the green - but walked off without putting, handing in his scorecard and shaking hands with playing partner Ernie Els on the way.
He left the PGA National course in a car with his coach and caddie, having issued a statement in which he "sincerely apologised" to the Honda Classic and PGA Tour for his sudden withdrawal.
"I have been suffering with a sore wisdom tooth, which is due to come out in the near future," McIlroy explained in the statement.
"It was really bothering me and had begun to affect my playing partners."
He added: "Even though my results haven't revealed it, I really felt like I was rounding a corner."
The walk-off comes after McIlroy made an early exit in the recent match Play Championship in Arizona - falling to a first round defeat at the hands of the Republic of Ireland's Shane Lowry.
He then continued his sluggish start to the new season with a level par opening round in the Honda Classic in Florida on Thursday.