Rory McIlroy forced to sit out Abu Dhabi Championship after stress fracture to rib

Four time major winner played through the pain at the weekend

Rory McIlroy

Image: David Davies / PA Wire/PA Images

Rory McIlroy is out of golf's Abu Dhabi Championship due to a rib injury.

The Northern Irishman played through the pain at the South Africa Open, where he lost in a gripping play-off to England's Graeme Storm.

After he and Storm finished level on 18-under each after four rounds of action, the Englishman edged to victory.

A scan has revealed he has a stress fracture to a rib, and as a result he has been advised to skip this week's tournament.

The four time major winning golfer confirmed his absence from the Abu Dhabi Championship when speaking to the European Tour website: "It’s bitterly disappointing to have to withdraw from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. I think everyone knows how much I love playing this tournament, which is one of the best on the European Tour thanks to the incredible support of HSBC and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. To be forced to miss this week through injury is really quite annoying to be perfectly honest, but I am sure the tournament will be a huge success and I hope everyone involved has a great week.

"In situations like this you simply have to listen to the experts and the team I have consulted have all advised me to rest until my rib has fully recovered."

On Friday, he had revealed that he had "tweaked" his back and received treatment on the problem.

He also mused whether testing new golf equipment may have had an adverse effect, saying, "If it's a muscular thing, it's fatigue. I've hit a lot of golf balls over the three or four weeks testing equipment. I've hit a lot of drivers. You put a lot of force on your body when you do that. I'll just take it easy over the next few days and with some rest and treatment I should be fine."