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McIlroy Finds Growing Up Difficult

David Walberg/Sports Illustrated

Parents tell their kids that it’s always better to own up to their mistakes, that trying to cover them up with lies will only make things worse.

Kids, however, sometimes have to learn these truths for themselves.

Rory McIlroy is still only 23 — still figuring out what it means to be Rory — and he learned both ends of that ethics lesson last Friday, when he walked off the course mid-round at the Honda Classic in exasperation at his poor play, then later blamed the impolitic exit on an aching wisdom tooth.

That excuse might have flown had it not been for the fact that he three times told reporters there was nothing physically bothering him — that instead he was "in a bad place,...

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