Rory McIlroy was a heavy favorite going into the 2017 PGA Championship, but despite gargantuan driving, the four-time major champion was unable to string together enough birdies to get in contention at Quail Hollow in Charlottte.
Now, with McIlroy’s major season over, the Ulsterman is considering taking an extended break from golf to heal his rib and back injuries which have nagged him since he first suffered them at the 2017 BMW South African Open in January.
“It’s not a factor when I’m out on the course, but it’s a factor off the course in terms of how much time I can practice,” said McIlroy to Sky Sports after his third round on Saturday. “It’s Catch-22 because I want to play and I can play, but I can’t put the practice in that I need to to get myself up in contention.”
Not being able to practice puts him behind the 8-ball heading into a defense of his FedEx Cup title he won last year. Ranked 43rd in FedEx Cup points heading into the PGA Championship, he would have some work to do just to make sure he gets back to the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Perhaps that is playing into his decision to potentially take time off through the playoffs and even the season-ending series on the European Tour.
“We’ll see where we go from here. I’ll play tomorrow and assess my options for the rest of the year,” he said. “I’ve still got a few big tournaments left, so it’s a question of whether I play in all of them or take some time off to get 100 per cent healthy.”