Sport Golf

Thursday 12 December 2019

VIDEO: Fluke sees Rory pocket shot into spectator's trousers

Karl MacGinty

Rory McIlroy can line his own pockets with $11.44m in Atlanta… but in a zany twist to the Tour Championship plot yesterday, the World No 1 hit his golf ball into another man's trousers.

This bizarre incident happened at the 14th hole after McIlroy's made a bags of his tee shot and his ball ricocheted off a tree and into a spectator's pocket.

It was a massive stroke of luck for McIlroy as he purred to a five-under par 65 and engaged in hot pursuit of the biggest cash bonanza in world sport.

"That ball could have hit the tree and gone anywhere," said McIlroy, for the moment just counting his blessings.

"I felt fortunate. I was able to take a free drop there and made par. I probably owe that guy more than a handshake."

McIlroy's second at East Lake with Jason Day and Chris Kirk, two behind Billy Horschel, winner of last Sunday's BMW in Denver. Usually, a player retrieves his own ball but McIlroy let the man fish it out for himself. "I wasn't going in there. I know how sweaty my pockets are so I'm not going into anyone else's.

Admitting "I hit it up somebody's trouser leg at the Scottish Open in Aberdeen," he added. "I really need to stop going off line."

Should McIlroy trouser the $1.44m Tour Championship first prize tomorrow, he'll lift the FedEx Cup and a $10m bonus.

No pressure, he insists. "It'd be the icing on the cake. Having won four times this summer, including twice at the Majors and a first World Golf Championshio, I've already had a great season anyway. So I've nothing to lose.

"I just want to cap it all off in style and I've given myself a chance to do that."

McIlroy today plays with Horschel, 27. They fell out at the 2007 Walker Cup at Royal Co Down when the American went too far with the histrionics as the visitors won. However, they've since become good friends on Tour.

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