Rory McIlroy losing ground at Players' Championship

Ponte Vedra Beach FL USA Rory Mc Ilroy tees off on the 12th hole during the second round of The Players Championship golf

Rory McIlroy admits he's been forced to turn his back on wife Erica at night in order to take some strain off his back injury sustained during this week's Players Championship. Rory McIlroy says tests indicate no new injury to his back, only what he described as a "low-grade response" to his rib injury in January.

But the four-time major victor then bogeyed the fifth and although he did birdie the ninth for the third day running, he was unable to pick up further shots on the par-five 11th or short 12th, where his long-iron tee-shot bounded through the green.

"Obviously, I would like to go out and shoot a good score on Sunday and make this worthwhile in a way, in terms of collecting some world ranking points and some FedExCup points and just trying to move forward".

He said the pain is coming from the same area as the stress fracture in his ribs that sidelined him for the start of the year. But unless you get an image taken of it and you know exactly what's going on you don't know.

After playing just 13 tournaments past year due to a foot injury, Poulter had 10 events this season to earn 218 FedEx Cup points or 347,634 US dollars (£269,755) to remain fully exempt. "But I scrambled pretty well, and I birdied two of the last three holes to make it somewhat respectable". Are you not happy with me? "So it's, it might just be a flare-up of what happened previously and I just need to rest for a few days and it might be okay".

"I'm hoping the scan just shows a slight tear in the muscle or something like that, or a little strain".

"So I maybe should have just taken it a bit easier over the weekend but I was excited to get back, excited to get ready to play again and so maybe just being a little overkeen was to my detriment". "You have got to hit some really quality shots to get the ball close and give yourself opportunities for birdies".

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