Sunday, 15 January 2017
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy played through the pain in his play-off defeat at the BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni and is now set to have a scan on his back injury ahead of next week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The Northern Irishman revealed on Friday that he had considered pulling out of the event in Gauteng with the injury and had to manage it by having it taped up and taking anti-inflammatories.

He still managed to turn over a three-shot deficit and get into a play-off on Sunday before a bogey at the third extra hole saw Graeme Storm take the title, and he will now have the injury examined more closely.

"I am going for a scan tomorrow," he said. "I fly to Dubai tonight and then will go for an MRI tomorrow just to see what's up with this joint in my back.

"It was manageable this week with tape and a few pills so I am fine but first and foremost I have to get fully fit and healthy again and hopefully I'll be alright to play next week."

McIlroy has a sensational record in Abu Dhabi, having only finished outside the top five twice in nine events and, while he is hopeful he will be able to play, he is not willing to take any long-term risks.

"We will see what happens but like I said, it is manageable with the tape and a few anti-inflammatories but it's not 100 per cent.

I am fine but first and foremost I have to get fully fit and healthy again and hopefully I'll be alright to play next week - Rory McIlroy

"Part of me really wants to make this week because there is so much to play for but at the same time there is so much to play for over the whole season and I don't want to jeopardise long-term goals for short-term gain. Hopefully I'll be good to go."

The World Number Two led stood on the 17th tee at Glendower Golf Club before a nasty lie in a bunker saw him surrender a bogey and he was pleased with his first outing of 2017.

"I wish I could have done a little more but it's not a bad way to start the season and gives me something to build on in the weeks ahead," he said.

"I played well and wish I could have got a win but it's a good start to the year. We have had an absolutely fantastic time here in South Africa over the last ten days and we are already planning to come back near the end of the year."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1STORM, GraemeENG18-18
2MCILROY, RoryNIR18-18
3SMITH, Jordan LENG18-17
4BURMESTER, DeanRSA18-15
T5AIKEN, ThomasRSA18-14
T5FISHER JNR, TrevorRSA18-14

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