Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Rory McIlroy learns from 2013 low point as he returns for Honda Classic

updated 12:38 PM EST, Thu February 27, 2014
Rory McIlroy is one of seven world top-10 players competing at the Honda Classic in Florida.
Rory McIlroy is one of seven world top-10 players competing at the Honda Classic in Florida.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rory McIlroy says his Honda Classic walk-off was low point of 2013
  • The world No. 8 says he's learned to "stay patient" after what happened
  • McIlroy is one of seven top-10 players competing in Florida event
  • U.S. Open champion Justin Rose has pulled out with a shoulder injury

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Rory McIlroy may be hoping to exorcise some demons when he returns to the scene of one of his career lows at this week's Honda Classic in Florida.

At last year's tournament, the world No. 8 walked off the course in the middle of a dismal second round, blaming a sore wisdom tooth.

McIlroy, who lost his number one ranking and took until December to win a tournament in a difficult 2013 season, described his Honda hiccup as the lowest point of the year.

"Probably The Honda back (last) February," McIlroy told PGATour.com, when asked for his low point. "I made a mistake walking off the course and disappointed not just myself.

Golf: The success stories of 2013
Henrik Stenson's $20 million year
Martin Kaymer's sand shot master class

"Golf can be a frustrating game and emotionally tough. What's important, though, is that I've learned from that episode. I need to stay patient and play my way through the difficult patches."

Read: Honda Classic leaderboard

The Northern Ireland golfer also switched to Nike clubs in a multimillion-dollar deal at the start of last season and found the transition from his former Titleist equipment wasn't quite as smooth as he would have liked.

But he believes he has now quite literally got into the swing with his new equipment.

"It would be fantastic to be 100% comfortable with all 14 clubs at the same time," McIlroy said.

"It was worth taking the time to get it right. I'm pretty settled with the kit, to be honest."

The tournament at the PGA National course will unite seven of the world's top-10 players -- more than in any event of the season so far.

It is also the first tournament of 2014 where the top three -- Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson -- have competed in the same field.

However, U.S. Open champion Justin Rose had to drop out of the event at the last minute because of tendinitis in his right shoulder.

Read: McIlroy sorry for Florida walk-off

Read: Henrik Stenson seeks major high

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
Bubba Watson is the Masters king, but can he win a major away from Augusta? Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue has the lowdown.
updated 10:12 AM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer won his first major at Augusta, played there with the U.S. President and made a record 50 consecutive Masters appearances.
updated 8:02 AM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
He is remembered for designing one of the world's most famous golf courses, but the man behind Augusta died pleading to be paid.
updated 6:04 AM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Take a trip around Augusta. From Eisenhower's toppled tree to the fiendishly-difficult Amen Corner, the Masters' home venue has it all.
ADVERTISEMENT