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 made an impressive start to 2017 with
Ng Han Guan, file
January 16, 2017

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) Rory McIlroy has withdrawn from the Abu Dhabi Championship this week because of a rib injury.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.

McIlroy 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.

He 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.

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