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Rory takes criticism on the chin

Last updated: 7th November 2012

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Rory McIlroy: Wanted to get away

Rory McIlroy: Wanted to get away

World number one Rory McIlroy concedes criticism of his decision to skip the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament is fair.

The 23-year-old, along with Tiger Woods, missed last week's $7 million event at southern China's Mission Hills, opting instead to watch his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki play in the Tournament of Champions.

That came just a few days after he and Woods took part in the lucrative one-day "Duel at Jinsha Lake" also in China.

McIlroy, who will be back in action at the Singapore Open this weekend, admits he understands why his decision didn't go down well with a lot of people.

"I think the criticism is fair - it's a World Golf Championship event, one of the big ones. It was a tough one to miss, especially watching it on television," he said.

"But I can't play every week. If I had played that I would have finished the season having played in Turkey, after the Ryder Cup and the FedEx Cup stuff. It's just too much and one event had to miss out and that was it.

"I played the course at Mission Hills a couple of years ago and didn't really like it. I thought it was a course where I would get frustrated and am glad the event is going back to Shanghai next year."

McIlroy, who has already confirmed he will reduce his schedule to 22 or 23 events next year, admits it is good to get away from golf from time to time.

"I need those weeks where I can completely escape from this, from my life. I sometimes forget what I actually am, what I do, and I need to get completely away from it," he said.

"I think I need those weeks, they're very helpful and it helps me get away.

"You see some guys, golf is everything, it's their life. Of course it's my life, and I'm very lucky to do it, but sometimes you just need to step away from it and decompress in some way.

"Spending last week with Caroline definitely helped me do that."



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