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Golf: McIlroy says he has head right this time

Published on Feb 27, 2014 6:21 AM
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot during the pro-am prior to the start of the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa on Feb 26, 2014 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. -- PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - What a difference a year has made for Rory McIlroy, who 12 months ago tarnished his reputation by quitting during the second round of the PGA Tour's Honda Classic.

McIlroy's head was a mess and his game was not much better at this time last year as he walked off the course citing a toothache, an excuse he later admitted was rather lame.

The Northern Irishman, who at the time was defending champion, was surprised by the widespread criticism he received for his withdrawal, but on the eve of this year's event he seemed genuinely contrite as he recalled the incident.

"My game wasn't where I wanted it to be (and) my mental state wasn't quite where it needed to be," a relaxed-looking McIlroy told reporters at Palm Beach National on Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014.

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