Rory McIlroy's first title defense came up short at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, and he revealed why to the Irish Independent and Karl MacGinty. McIlroy was suffering from a painful back problem. The 20-year-old managed a top-10 finish anyway, but he said he'd been taking anti-inflammatory drugs and his back was "strapped up pretty good." He
planned to have his lower back scanned in Belfast when he got home.
"It's my left sacroiliac joint," McIlroy said. "It's something I've had for a
while and I inflamed it during the four weeks I've been out here. It's
just a repetitive thing. When I hit a lot of balls, it just niggles a
little bit. It's been at me all week. The more the week went on, the
more it was there. I can still swing okay but felt it when bending down
or if I hit one hard."
Since childhood, McIlroy has generated so much torque in his swing, it's led to wear and tear in the pelvic region. An exercise programme helps keep the condition under control
but the youngster aggravated the problem in the Gulf by hitting an inordinate amount of golf balls on his return from his Christmas break. Yet he insisted: "I have a scan every six months. I just need rest. I'll be okay for the Accenture Match Play in Tucson next week."