RORY McILROY came within 16 minutes of being disqualified from the Ryder Cup after he needed the help of an Illinois state trooper to make sure he did not miss his tee-time for the final day singles.
The Holywood star is believed to have gotten confused between Eastern and Central time zones and, having realised his error, was taken in a police car from his hotel to the course at Medinah Country Club with 11 minutes to spare before his match against Keegan Bradley was scheduled to begin at 11.25am local time.
Had McIlroy arrived five minutes or less late to the first tee, he would have been forced to lose the first hole under the Ryder Cup's match play rules.
Had he arrived more than five minutes late, he would have been disqualified.
McIlroy's father Gerry confirmed that the 23-year-old watched television on Saturday night and kept hearing on Golf Channel that his tee-time was 12.25, which was Eastern Time.
The world No 1 was seen running to the putting green eating a breakfast bar.
He was unable to do his normal warm-up or visit the driving range before teeing off as Europe chased the USA's four-point lead.