JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Rory McIlroy's third-round 74 effectively ended any hope the reigning U.S. Open champion had of contending in the year's final major. But it's become obvious by now that he scuttled his chances in the 93rd PGA Championship when he injured his right wrist hitting an ill-advised shot near a tree root on the third hole of the opening round.
But given the same circumstances, the 22-year-old Ulsterman suggested that he might be inclined to try the shot again.
"Yeah, looking back on it, it probably wasn't the right thing to do," McIlroy allowed Saturday after completing 54 holes on the Highlands Course at Atlanta Athletic Club in 7-over 217. "But if I had of been in that position again and not knowing what's going to happen, I probably would have done the same thing. When my wrist hurt the most was on Thursday when I did it, and I shot the best score, so maybe I shouldn't have went and got it strapped up.
While full swings have caused him pain at times, it's been his work on the greens that has most hurt him this week. He took 33 putts on Saturday and has needed 94 for the week. That ranks 59th among the 75 players who made the cut.
(Related: A frame-by-frame look at Rory's swing)
"I've putted terribly this week. So I'd like to say that's part of it, but I don't think it should affect it that much," McIlroy said. "You know, it shouldn't affect it. I don't want to make any excuses, because I just haven't played good enough."
McIlroy said he was determined to finish strong, hoping to break par for the first time this week and was cognizant that he and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel were battling for low aggregate score for the four major championships. After that, he plans to shut it down, give his wrist as much time to rest as possible before his next start Sept. 1 at the European Masters in Switzerland.
"I'll take a couple of weeks off; might not actually hit balls until I get to Switzerland but I give myself the best chance if I just rest," he said.
-- Dave Shedloski
(Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)