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Clock this! The joke's on Rory with gift he won't forget

THEY may have been celebrating the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history -- but Rory McIlroy's teammates weren't about to let him off the hook.

The world No1 played his part in the Miracle of Medinah -- but it could have been very different as the Ulsterman barely made it to the first tee.

And Darren Clarke and Sergio Garcia weren't prepared to let him forget it, despite his success in winning a critical point from red-hot Keegan Bradley.

As he clutches a bottle of champagne, McIlroy is saddled with a huge clock around his neck -- a reminder for future timekeeping.

But what made McIlroy so late for his 11.25am tee time? An injury? Transport issues? A phonecall from girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki? No, he simply forgot what time zone he was in.

As Bradley warmed up on the first tee, McIlroy was nowhere to be seen as word spread that he wasn't even on the grounds.

With just 10 minutes until his singles match, an unmarked police car raced into the grounds and out jumped the world number one.

"My heart was racing," European captain Jose Maria Olazabal said. "All of a sudden, we realised that Rory's not here. We started to look for him and nobody knew."

It all ended well for the 23-year-old though, after a state trooper rushed to his aide and got the Irishman to the course with just 10 minutes to spare.