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Tiger admonishes Rory over controversial withdrawal

ESPN staff
March 2, 2013 « FIFA: Winter World Cup still an option | Chartbeat test »

Tiger Woods has cautioned Rory McIlroy to 'think more' about his actions and his interactions with the media, following his controversial withdrawal from the Honda Classic.

McIlroy, 23, walked off the course after a torrid front nine to his second round on Friday, initially telling reporters he was not "in a good place mentally" before later blaming a sore wisdom tooth for his departure.

PGA Tour rules only permit withdrawals for one of two reasons - if injury is affecting the golfer's ability to compete, or if a poor standard of play is proving a distraction to playing partners.

McIlroy could receive a fine or, in an unlikely eventuality, a ban for his conduct - although the PGA Tour generally does not publicise any disciplinary action it takes.

Woods, who has grown close to McIlroy in the last few months, warned the Northern Irishman to take longer to consider the impact of any decisions he may make in future.

"He's just got to be more ... just got to think about it a little bit more before you say something or do something," Woods told reporters. "It can get out of hand."

Elaborating on that point, Woods noted that the growth of social media means McIlroy's every move is witnessed and analysed, often to exaggeration.

"But also this is a slightly different era, as well," Woods added. "It's even faster than what it was when I came out [on tour]. Things are instantaneous around the world. We were still in fax machines; things were a little bit slower."

McIlroy has never previously withdrawn from an event as a professional - something that cannot be said for Woods, who has accrued a few such exits in recent years. However, the American stressed he has never left a tournament due to poor play.

" I've done it a couple times just because I was injured. I just couldn't go," Woods said. "I hurt my wrist one time at the US Open as an amateur. Last year I pulled out at Doral, my Achilles was at the point where I could injure it again like I did the previous year. So decided not to do it. It all worked out."

David Duval, while refusing to explicitly state that he was referring to McIlroy, appeared to join a number of pros in offering disapproval of the two-time major champion's actions.

"Always keep fighting and trying," Duval wrote on Twitter on Friday. "You never know who came to watch you play that day. How far they drove or from where they flew. That's part of why I never quit.

"Illness or injury are the only reasons not to finish your round. As a pro you should always post your score. It's your responsibility. Bad days and bad scores are part of golf.

"Don't tee off if your ego can't take it."

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