Rory McIlroy avoids awkward Amanda Balionis meeting after opting out of tournament following US Open heartbreak

Rory McIlroy and Amanda Balionis
-Credit: (Image: CBS)

Rory McIlroy has pulled out of this week's Traveler's Championship - where CBS presenter Amanda Balionis is currently on duty following her holiday and his US Open disappointment.

Just last week at Pinehurst No. 2, McIlroy was leading by two shots with only five holes remaining, leading fans to believe that his decade-long major drought was about to end. However, the 35-year-old painfully missed two short putts in a three-bogey run, paving the way for Bryson DeChambeau, who pulled off a spectacular moment at the 18th hole to secure the win.

Once DeChambeau had clinched the victory, a disheartened McIlroy quickly left Pinehurst No. 2, struggling to come to terms with his downfall. The Northern Irish golfer then flew to Florida, before sharing a message on social media explaining his feelings as he announced his withdrawal from the Traveler's Championship at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut.

Meanwhile, as McIlroy was battling DeChambeau for the US Open title, CBS Sports' Balionis was enjoying some time off with friends in the Hamptons, taking a break from the greens and fairways while rival network NBC held the rights to the tournament. She shared photos on social media and soaking up the sun with her friends.

McIlroy, amid rumours of a temporary split with his wife Erica Stoll and a speculated relationship with Balionis, has decided to take a break from golf. The couple have since reversed their divorce decision.

McIlroy plans to return just before The Open at Royal Troon next month, ensuring he won't cross paths with Balionis at TPC River Highlands this weekend. "Yesterday was a tough day, probably the toughest I've had in my nearly 17 years as a professional golfer," McIlroy began in a statement posted to social media on Monday. "Firstly, I'd like to congratulate Bryson. He is a worthy champion and exactly what professional golf needs right now. I think we can all agree on that.

"As I reflect on my week, I'll rue a few things over the course of the tournament, mostly, the 2 missed putts on 16 and 18 on the final day. But, as I always try to do, I'll look at the positives of the week that far outweigh the negatives. As I said at the start of the tournament, I feel closer to winning my next major championship than I ever have.

"The one word that I would describe my career as is resilient. I've shown my resilience over and over again in the last 17 years and I will again.I'm going to take a few weeks away from the game to process everything and build myself back up for my defense of the Genesis Scottish Open and The Open at Royal Troon. See you in Scotland."