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In hindsight, not a good decision -- especially since he failed to escape the trees with his risky shot and wound up taking bogey anyway.
"It was dangerous," McIlroy conceded. "I think the tree was maybe a foot in front of the ball, and thought if I could make contact with the ball and just let the club go, I might get away with it. ... It would have been better to chip out sideways. I still made 5."
At the par-3 fourth, McIlroy again dropped the club after striking his tee shot. He still managed to get on the green and two-putt for par. Then, at the fifth, PGA Tour therapist Jeff Hendra came out on the course to examine the wrist, causing a brief delay for McIlroy's threesome.
"There's a couple of points where I thought about not continuing," McIlroy said.
Hendra bent the wrist back sharply several times, trying to determine if McIlroy had caused any serious damage. The player was satisfied with what he heard and rejoined his group: British Open champion Darren Clarke and Masters winner Charl Schwartzel.
"It's just going through impact, it hurts a little bit," McIlroy said.
With Tiger Woods battling injuries, personal woes and an erratic game, McIlroy has emerged as potentially the game's next big star. He contended at three majors before breaking through in a big way at the U.S. Open, carving up Congressional with a record 16-under score and blowing away the field by eight strokes.
He seems determined to take a shot at his second major championship before the year is done -- sore wrist and all.
"If it's the same (Friday) and I know that I'm not going to do any more damage to it, I'll play," McIlroy vowed.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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