In the end, it was a full admission of guilt. Rory did wrong and he said so.
And now everything seems all right in the world of the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world.
Except, perhaps, his golf swing.
On Wednesday morning, McIlroy offered up a complete apology for walking off the golf course last Friday at the Honda Classic after admitting to being in a bad place mentally and then, a little later, having a toothache from a sore wisdom tooth.
"No matter how bad I was playing, I should have stayed out there," he admitted. "I should have tried to shoot the best score possible even though it probably wasn't going to be good enough to make the cut."
The root of the problem wasn't in his gums, however, but with his swing, which he says is troubled by a bad takeaway. The club is travelling too far outside the path and then coming down too far inside. It's something he first noticed at the end of last year but hasn't been able to fix as of yet.
With his play suffering, the self-imposed pressure to perform as well as he did in the last half of 2012 increased. It finally blew after he walked off at Honda.
"I think it was a buildup of everything," McIlroy said. "I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform and I've been working so hard and not really getting much out of it.
"I actually think that in the long run, Friday will be a blessing in disguise. It was like it just sort of released a valve and all that sort of pressure that I've been putting on myself just went away."
I have to admit that hearing McIlroy plead guilty was refreshing. There have been enough times when a golfer WDs after shooting 80 and claims a bad back - you're never quite sure if the back caused the 80 or the 80 caused the back. And you never really get a good answer.
It was different for Rory, in large part because of just how honest and forthright a person he is, and in some small measure because of the demand to know from the press and the public.
It's also a good way to snuff out the rumour mill, which was spinning like a washing machine.
"I've read what's been written," he stated. "And just because I have a bad day on the golf course and Caroline loses a match in Malaysia, it doesn't mean that we're breaking up."
He also put to rest any talk of the move to clubs with a Swoosh as a cause for the problems, calling his gear fantastic and saying that when he puts a good swing on the ball, it goes where and how he wants it to go.
If nothing else, he'll get four rounds in this week as the World Golf Championships don't have a cut. It'll be his first weekend play this year, and by that time, we'll get a good idea of just where his struggling game is.