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May 19, 1:57 PM EDT

McIlroy (rib injury) to skip European Tour flagship event

AP Photo
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

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VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) -- Rory McIlroy will sit out the European Tour flagship event next week to make sure a recurring rib injury heals.

McIlroy withdrew Friday from the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where he is a past champion.

The four-time major champion suffered a hairline fracture of his rib during the South African Open in January, causing him to miss four tournaments over seven weeks. He played four times in six weeks upon his return until taking a post-Masters break to get married.

McIlroy believes the injury surfaced again from long practice sessions leading to The Players Championship.

McIlroy says doctors have advised him to take a conservative approach to recovering so he will be fine for the U.S. Open and the rest of the majors this summer.

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