• WGC-Cadillac Championship

McIlroy aims to bring the fun back

ESPN staff
March 6, 2013
Rory McIlroy is looking to focus on his play at Doral © Getty Images

Rory McIlroy has admitted he has learned from the mistakes he made when walking off at the Honda Classic and will attempt to bring a positive attitude to his game.

McIlroy whipped up a huge storm when he walked off halfway through his second round at the Honda Classic.

He initially said he was in a 'bad place mentally' before citing a wisdom tooth problem as the reason behind his decision to quit a tournament he was the defending champion of.

The world No. 1's actions have filled plenty of column inches and on Sunday he issued an apology, saying what he did set the wrong example.

He has been given an immediate chance to atone as he will tee it up at the Cadillac Championship at Doral this week.

McIlroy claims both statements he made were true to an extent, but has held his hands up and admitted he made a mistake in walking off the course.

"Everyone has seen what I've said and in the aftermath," McIlroy said at a press conference ahead of the Cadillac Championship. "I realised it was not the right thing to do. No matter how bad I was playing, I should have stayed out and tried.

"At that point I was all over the place and saw red and it was a mistake. Everyone makes them and I am learning from them. From my point of view, other people have the pleasure of making mistakes in private. Mine are in the public eye.

"It is over now and won't happen again.

"Both (statements) were true. I was not in a good place with my golf game, mentally I was all over the place but at the same time I have been struggling with the wisdom tooth. I am taking medication until I get home to Northern Ireland. It was bothering me, but probably not enough to make me quit."

McIlroy feels the pressure has been released by his actions at TPC National and is now looking to bring enjoyment back into his game.

"It was the build up of everything. I have been working hard and not getting much out of it. That was frustrating. It was the build up of expectations of the great end to last year, not being able to do it and it got to me.

"I wanted to quit a few times as a teenager. I started to play golf because I love it. It has been my life, for my life! I have got to remember that.

"Dave Stockton told me to smile more, it lifts your spirits. That was the turnaround last year, the attitude.

"I will go out this week and enjoy it. I have got four rounds and hopefully it will be better.

"It will hopefully be a blessing in disguise. It just released the valve and I will now look to go out and enjoy it."

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