Rory McIlroy is seriously considering taking the rest of the year off as he continues to struggle with a niggling rib injury.
The Northern Irishman had to settle for another middle-of-the-pack finish at the PGA Championship on Sunday, stretching his winless run in the majors to three years.
It was another disappointing result in what has been a lackluster season by McIlroy’s standards.
With eight months to go until next year’s Masters, McIlroy thinks the time may be right to take an extended break – even if it means missing the end of the season and the FedEx Cup entirely.
“Look, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said.
“You might not see me until next year. You might see me in a couple of weeks’ time. It really depends.
“Right now it’s a tough one because I go out there and play and shoot decent scores, but when I come off the course, I feel my left rhomboid going into spasm.
“The inside of my left arm goes numb.
“So I don’t know what to do.
“I have got this next week off to assess what I need to go forward.”
McIlroy is concerned he is getting into some bad habits with his swing because he is protecting his left side, and wants to take some time to address the problems.
“I am turning the ball way too much from right to left by swinging left,” he said.
“Swinging the other way hurts me, so I am hitting big draws just to protect that side.”
McIlroy knows he needs time to work on his swing issues and allow his injury to heal. The only question is how much time.
“Time,” he said. “That’s all it is.
“I didn’t build up the volume gradually.
“I went from zero to hitting balls from three or four hours a day. That aggravated it a little bit.
“I just haven’t it allowed it the time to fully heal. I wanted to play the season.
“I feel like I’m capable of playing well and winning and putting rounds together.
“If I want to challenge on a more consistent basis, I need to get 100% healthy.”
Reflecting on his major drought, McIlroy added: “It’s tough.
“I want to get back into that winner’s circle.
“You don’t want to be teeing off at 9:45 on the final rounds of a major on a Sunday. That is not where you want to be.
“As I said, I have a good bit of time to get healthy and address a few things going forward.
“The next big thing is April and that’s really what my focus will be on until then.”
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