Rory McIlroy’s Thai Absence Very Noticeable.

The effect of Rory McIlroy’s late withdrawal from this week’s Thailand Golf Championship is clearly to those attending this week’s curtain closing event on the Asian Tour.

McIlroy withdrew last Sunday citing doctor’s instructions following a general run down in the health of the Congressional champion.

In driving from Bangkok Airport into the city there was a good sprinkling of ‘Long Live the King’ billboards featuring pictures of the King of Thailand in honour of his recent 84th birthday.

But there were also a few billboards promoting this week’s event and clearly featuring the possible future King of Golf.

Poster of reigning U.S. Open champion, Rory McIlroy on a Bangkok street.

Then as you near the Amata Spring Country Club course it is glaringly obvious from countless dozens of banners that there is one person absent this week and that is McIlroy.

Unfortunately, McIlroy’s last minute withdrawal has left organisers of the Asian Tour event no time to alter billboards, posters, programmes and other promotional material that features the reigning U.S. Open champion.

On the larger billboards McIlroy photographed standing head and shoulders among a group of five players who unlike the 22-year old are competing this week in the Thai capital.

Andrew Pitts, Director of Golf at Amata Spring and also Tournament Director for the event, was approached to comment on McIlroy’s decision not to compete.

The American born Pitts, who played the Asian Tour from 1997 to 2002, seemed very reluctant to speak of the matter and after some time would say only:  “The organisers were quite disappointed Rory McIlroy was not able to play.”

Among them is World No. 3 Lee Westwood, double Major winning John Daly and also fellow and reigning British Open winner, Darren Clarke along with Masters champion, Charl Schwartzel and Japan sensation, Ryo Ishikawa.

And given 1 million Baht was pledged by one guest on Tuesday at a gala fund raising dinner for a Charl Schwartzel signed Masters flag, it meant that if a similar U.S. Open flag signed by McIlroy had of been on offer the same amount of more could have gone to those affected by the Bangkok floods.

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