European Tour officials were hugely disappointed that Rory McIlroy pulled out of the BMW PGA to protect his injured ribs and keep his hopes alive of being 100 percent fit for the US Open.
Now it's Jack Nicklaus' turn to feel the pain after a spokesperson confirmed that the 28-year old world No 2 is also skipping next week's Memorial Tournament in Ohio.
Golf Digest contacted "his agent" by email, and the reply was that there would be no return to Muirfield Village for McIlroy this year, which is either alarming with the US Open less than three weeks away, or particularly cautious for a man who wants his success to be measured in major wins.
“All focus is on getting back to full health for the U.S. Open,” the agent said in an email.
McIlroy missed six weeks of the pre-Masters season with a stress fracture of the ribs he said he believed was caused by overdoing it in the winter testing new equipment. After a top 10 finish at the Masters, he then returned for The Players Championship.
He suffered some pain, saying he aggravated the injury doing intensive practice in the days after his return from another break following his wedding and honeymoon.
A day after finishing tied for 35th at TPC Sawgrass, McIlroy had an MRI on his return to Belfast and revealed he had suffered a “low-grade response” to the rib injury he suffered early in the year.
He planned to wait until the last minute to pull out of Wentworth but withdrew instead on Friday on the advice of Dr Steve McGregor and others.
Pádraig Harrington and Shane Lowry will be in the field a Muirfield Village