Rory McIlroy admits he was wrong to withdraw from last week's PGA Tour event in Florida, The Honda Classic.
The world number one walked off the course after just eight holes of his second round, blaming toothache for the decision.
But the 23-year-old has now told US magazine Sports Illustrated that he made the wrong choice after he hit his approach shot into the water on the par-five 18th, his ninth hole of the day.
"What I should have done is take my drop, chip it on, try to make a five and play my hardest on the back nine, even if I shot 85.
"What I did was not good for the tournament, not good for the kids and the fans who were out there watching me – it was not the right thing to do."
McIlroy has been struggling with his game since switching to Nike golf clubs at the start of the season.
In his first golf tournament of 2013, the Ulsterman missed the cut with two 75s, before he lost to Shane Lowry in the first round of the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship last month.
But he insists that the new equipment has nothing to do with his drop in form. In fact McIlroy went through a similar rough patch in the middle of last season before he went on to secure a record-breaking second major at the US PGA Championship.
"The driver and the ball took some time to get used to, but I had weeks at Nike before the start of the year, and I feel comfortable with the equipment," he told the Telegraph.
McIlroy said he needs to adopt the tougher approach of Tiger Woods.
"He might be the best athlete ever, in terms of his ability to grind it out," McIlroy said. "I could have a bit more of that, if I'm honest."
McIlroy will be teeing it up again with the world's top golfers this week at the WGC Cadillac Championship.
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