Rory McIlroy has not ruled out adding another tournament to his schedule to avoid going into the US Masters with just a handful of competitive rounds under his belt.
McIlroy has played only four and a half rounds in 2013, missing the cut in Abu Dhabi in his first tournament with new equipment, losing in the first round of the Accenture Match Play and then infamously quitting the defence of his Honda Classic title last week midway through the second round.
The world number one is an approximate 17 over par for the 80 holes he has completed this season and is currently scheduled to play just two more events before the first major of the year at Augusta National from April 11-14.
Health permitting he is at least guaranteed four rounds of golf this week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship as there is no halfway cut, but the same guarantee is not on offer at the Houston Open, his other scheduled event.
Asked if he would play another tournament, McIlroy said: “I haven’t planned on it yet. I was waiting to see how I was going to do this week and then make a decision.
“If I want to play Tampa next week I have to enter by Friday and then there is Bay Hill after that, but right now I haven’t made a decision.
“I feel like I have made some progress over the last few days so the likelihood is that I probably won’t add an event, but it all depends on how I feel with my game and how I feel out there on the course.”
Much had been made about McIlroy’s poor form with his new equipment even before he walked off PGA National last Friday, when he initially said he was in a “bad place mentally” before citing wisdom tooth pain for his withdrawal.
But the 23-year-old insists his swing is now the only issue, although he admits he did wonder whether the club or balls were to blame at first.
“At the start yes, but now I know it’s purely the swing,” added McIlroy, who will play alongside Tiger Woods and Luke Donald for the first two days at Doral after the world’s top 25 were grouped together.
“The equipment is fantastic, I have no problems at all and when I make a good swing the ball goes where I want on the flight I want it to, it’s just getting my swing on the right path.”
England’s Justin Rose is the defending champion on the famed Blue Monster course, with the tournament having a prize fund of USD8.75million and USD1.5million to the winner.