Golf: McIlroy finds welcome distraction

Rory McIlroy has been quick to put a disappointing - and painful - final major of the year behind him.

Only 64th in a USPGA Championship he will remember mostly for injuring his arm hitting a tree root, McIlroy headed from Atlanta to link up again with the world number one tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, with whom he has been romantically linked.

"I'm going to go to Cincinnati for a few days - I hear it's nice there this time of year," he said with a smile.

The US Open champion also said he will be in New York for a while next week.

It is there that the US Open tennis starts in a fortnight and 21-year-old Dane Wozniacki has won the warm-up event three years in a row, but has yet to lift her first grand slam.

McIlroy was an eight-shot winner in Washington in June, but he finished 19 behind this weekend.

"I have basically played 70 holes out of 72 not at 100%, so it was frustrating not to be able to play the way I wanted to," stated the Northern Irish star.

"But I got through the tournament. I was proud of that and I am looking forward just to taking a couple of weeks off and making sure that I come back fully fit when I'm ready."

That should be in Switzerland on September 1-4 for the European Masters, opening event of the Ryder Cup points race.

"If I get myself in the position again where there's a tree root right next to my ball I might think twice about what shot I'm going to play," he said.

That decision in Atlanta had to be made on the third hole of his first round - a hole that he played in six over par for the week following a triple-bogey seven there yesterday.

The world's top two, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, were also left to reflect on what might have been after finishing joint eighth.

Westwood's putting again did not match up to the rest of his game, while Donald was a victim of the closing stretch.

He played the last four holes in seven over par, any lingering hopes of victory disappearing when he went in the lake at the 15th yesterday and double-bogeyed.

Westwood is heading away on holiday before also returning in the Swiss Alps, while Donald will start the FedEx Cup play-offs next week with his sights on becoming the first player to top the money lists both in America and Europe.

© Press Association