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Rory McIlroy can't walk away from woes

Some golfers are tempestuous artists who can't work with less than their best brush strokes. Others are house painters who make the most out of whatever they've got. Put Rory McIlroy in the former category.

On Friday at the Honda Classic, the defending champion walked off the course after playing eight holes in 7-over par and hitting two balls into the water on the ninth hole. Some contend that switching to new Nike clubs after his brilliant finish in 2012 was a foolish money grab. But Jack Nicklaus told McIlroy that equipment changes are overrated.

"I told him, 'You're too good of a player. Your clubs will not make that much difference,'?" Nicklaus said on NBC on Sunday. "... It's your talent that plays, not the golf clubs."

With 10 missed cuts since 2010 -- a shameful amount considering his talent -- McIlroy has a habit of mentally checking out when struggling. According to Nicklaus, McIlroy will be better served by finishing his rounds regardless of how ugly they become.

"If he had waited five more minutes he wouldn't have done that," Nicklaus said.

- Kevin Dunleavy