McIlroy defends Shenzhen no-show, admits criticism fair
By John O'Brien
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - World number one Rory McIlroy has defended his decision to skip last week's WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in China to watch his girlfriend play tennis but admits that the criticism of his no-show was fair.
The Briton returns to action at this week's co-sanctioned Singapore Open after taking a week off to cheer on Caroline Wozniacki at the Tournament of Champions in Bulgaria, a break he said was necessary despite the disappointment of golf fans.
"I think the criticism is fair... it's a World Golf Championship event, one of the big ones. It was a tough one to miss, especially watching it on television," McIlroy told reporters on Wednesday.
"But I can't play every week. If I had played that I would have finished the season having played in Turkey, after the Ryder Cup and the FedEx Cup stuff. It's just too much and one event had to miss out and that was it.
"I played the course at Mission Hills a couple of years ago and didn't really like it. Thought it was a course where I would get frustrated and am glad the event is going back to Shanghai next year."
World number two Tiger Woods also skipped the Shenzhen event in favor of rest and McIlroy realizes that since rising to the top of the game, he needs to strike the right balance between playing, fulfilling media commitments and taking time off.
"Managing time is a very important part of my life," the 23-year-old Northern Irishman added. Continued...