• Golf

McIlroy shows off new buff image

ESPN staff
February 4, 2014 « Anderson denies United jibe | Chartbeat test »

Who said golf is not an athletic sport? Rory McIlroy has used Twitter to show off his new slimline look.

World No. 7 McIlroy posted a picture of himself from three years ago looking rather podgy alongside a recent photograph - showing just how much he has lost from not only his waistline, but from under his cap.

"Just about to hit the gym," he wrote. "Sometimes we need a reminder why we go in there and push ourselves..."

McIlroy's fiancee, tennis ace Caroline Wozniacki, replied. She wrote: "Haha! A lot has changed since that run in Monaco 2.5 years ago!"

Meanwhile, McIlroy has revealed he will play in this year's Honda Classic - an event that he walked out of midway through the second round last year citing toothache.

Last March, McIlroy was ranked No. 1 in the world but was struggling with his game. He had switched out all 14 clubs and changed golf balls after signing a lucrative endorsement contract with Nike.

McIlroy first blamed the withdrawal on wisdom tooth pain, but he cleared the air a week later at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

"I realised pretty quickly that it wasn't the right thing to do,'' McIlroy said. "No matter how bad I was playing, I should have stayed out there. I should have tried to shoot the best score possible even though it probably wasn't going to be good enough to make the cut."

McIlroy will join several others ranked in the top 10 at the Honda Classic, including No. 2 Adam Scott, No. 6 Zach Johnson and No. 9 Sergio Garcia. McIlroy is ranked seventh.

Michael Thompson will defend his title at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, from February 27 to March 2.

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