SPORTS

McIlroy withdraws from Abu Dhabi because of rib injury.

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 file photo, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a tee shot during the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China. Rory McIlroy turned in a third-round 67, to play an intriguing battle on Sunday Jan. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, file)

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 file photo, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a tee shot during the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China. Rory McIlroy turned in a third-round 67, to play an intriguing battle on Sunday Jan. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, file)  (The Associated Press)

Rory McIlroy has withdrawn from the Abu Dhabi Championship this week because of a rib injury.

The European Tour released a statement on Monday saying the second-ranked McIlroy underwent tests after he was injured during the SA Open and they revealed a stress fracture.

McIlriy said it was "bitterly disappointing" and "really quite annoying" to miss the tournament, which has the best field of the season on the European Tour.

McIlroy said "in situations like this, you simply have to listen to the experts."

The Northern Irishman played with the injury for the final three rounds in Johannesburg, where he lost in a playoff to Graeme Storm.

The Abu Dhabi Championship starts on Thursday and is headlined by Americans Dustin Johnson and defending champion Rickie Fowler.