Rory McIlroy will miss the BMW PGA Championship that starts on 25 May at Wentworth owing to a rib injury.
The world No2 suffered the problem in the off-season after hitting a lot of balls in practice trying to decide on new equipment after his former supplier Nike decided to stop producing clubs.
It flared up as he lost a play-off to Graeme Storm in the South African Open in January and he did not feature again until the WGC-Mexico Championship in March where he finished four shots behind the winner Dustin Johnson.
McIlrory resumed an active schedule but felt discomfort at the Players Championship and despite a scan revealing he has suffered no new injury, he will not tee off at the European Tour’s flagship event.
“Having had a reaction to my earlier rib injury, I have been advised to take a conservative approach to my recovery which unfortunately means I have to withdraw from the BMW PGA Championship next week,” he said. “It’s a disappointing decision to have to make but I have to ensure I make a full recovery. I will now continue the process of preparing my game for the US Open and the rest of the season.”
The 28-year-old is a previous winner at Wentworth, with his victory in 2014 kicking off a brilliant summer that saw him claim the Open, the US PGA Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
The European Tour chief executive, Keith Pelley, said: “There is no question that Rory will be missed at the championship but his health is the most important thing and we wish him a speedy recovery.”