Rory McIlroy admitted that he made a mistake in withdrawing from the Honda Classic on Friday midway through the second round.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated on Sunday night, McIlroy, the No. 1 player in the world, acknowledged that the wisdom tooth issue that was cited for his withdrawal should not have kept him from finishing. He was 7-over-par for his round at the time.
"It was a reactive decision," McIlroy told SI. "What I should have done is take my drop, chip it on, try to make a 5 and play my hardest on the back nine, even if I shot 85. What I did was not good for the tournament, not good for the kids and the fans who were out there watching me -- it was not the right thing to do."
McIlroy, who is off to a rough start in 2013, was roundly criticized for his decision to leave.
He missed the cut after rounds of 75-75 at his first event in Abu Dhabi, was bounced from the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play and was well on his way to missing the cut at the Honda Classic, where he was the defending champion.
McIlroy told SI he has been experiencing issues with his lower wisdom teeth and expects to have one of them pulled following the U.S. Open.
As for his new Nike equipment, which has been the subject of much consternation since he signed a lucrative endorsement deal in January, McIlroy said: "The driver and the ball took some time to get used to, but I had weeks at Nike before the start of the year, and I feel comfortable with all the equipment," he said. "The problem is, I'm bringing the club too upright on the backswing then dropping it in too much on the downswing."
McIlroy is scheduled to play in this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral and has a news conference scheduled for Wednesday morning.