David Duval would know. The former World No. 1 had some words of advice for Rory McIlroy after watching his lackluster performance at the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow this week, which McIlroy attributed to a back injury and the lingering effects of a rib fracture.
In 2000, Duval began to suffer from back pain after spraining his fifth lumbar vertebra. He never fully recovered from that injury; he never won again after 2001, although he was only 29 at the time. Speaking on the Golf Channel Sunday, Duval outlined his concerns about McIlroy’s health.
“He needs to go home. He needs to stop playing right now. He’s hurt and I am watching his golf swing deteriorate,” he said. “If only I could go back and tell myself 18-20 years go when I started having those problems, ‘Stop, get healthy.’ He could do himself a big service. He’s always had a little bit of a hitch with the driver in terms of flattening out a little but it is getting a lot more pronounced right now and I think that is due to that rib injury.”
For what it’s worth, it seems that McIlroy already has a long rest in mind for the fall. “Look, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said after his final round at Quail Hollow, of his upcoming schedule. “You might not see me until next year. You might see me in a couple of weeks’ time. It really depends.”