JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – After being assured he could do no additional damage, Rory McIlroy teed off Friday in the second round of the PGA Championship with a heavily taped right wrist.
The U.S. Open champion was injured while taking an ill-advised swing in the opening round at Atlanta Athletic Club, striking his ball against a thick tree root.
McIlroy shot an even-par 70 in the opening round, then hustled off to get an MRI, which showed a strained tendon.
Cornell Driessen, a physical therapist on the European Tour, said the MRI showed not even a partial tear of the tendons and there was no danger of McIlroy injuring the wrist more seriously by continuing to play.
That was good enough for the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland.
He showed up on the range about a half hour before his morning tee time, cutting in half a typical warmup session. His hit shots for 15 minutes before heading to the putting green, followed by about two dozen media.
"It's the last major of the year," McIlroy said Thursday evening. "I've got, what, six or seven months to the Masters. So I might as well try and play through the pain and get it over and done with."
He was injured at the third hole after driving into the trees left of the fairway. Instead of punching back into the fairway, he decided to take a shot at the green, planning to drop his club as soon as he made contact. He held on to it a split-second too long, jamming his wrist and sending pain all the way up to his shoulder.
McIlory held an ice compress against his wrist between shots Thursday, had it checked out by a physical therapist on the course, and played on with a hasty tape job.
On Friday, playing again in a group with two other major champions, Masters winner Charl Schwartzel and British Open winner Darren Clarke, McIlroy made a three-putt bogey at the opening hole.
But he got back to even par with a birdie at the par-5 12th, hacking out of the rough and rolling in a 20-foot putt from just off the green.
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