Star-struck? McIlroy (67) hits spectator and ball goes out of bounds
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Star-struck? McIlroy (67) hits spectator and ball goes out of bounds


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Rory McIlroy cannot seem to catch much of a break lately, as evidenced by a strange penalty incurred on Day 1 of the Open Championship.

At 3 under on the round on the 15th tee, McIlroy hit at errant tee shot right at the par 4. His ball struck a youngster in his gallery in the head and the ball then careened some 20 yards to end up barely out of bounds.



The stroke-and-distance penalty led to a double bogey, but McIlroy rallied in the final three holes with two more birdies to shoot 67 and sit three back of leader Adam Scott after the first round.

“Well, an eventful last four holes, anyway,” McIlroy said with his trademark self-effacing smile. “I hit a tee shot slightly right and I got an unfortunate break. But I thought I did well to keep my composure and keep my concentration and finish the way I did. I'm very pleased with that.”

McIlroy offered a sign glove to the spectator which said, "Sorry!" with a frown face and his autograph. Phil Mickelson did the same thing for a star-struck spectator at the 2010 PGA Championship.

“The most important thing was that he was OK, because I would have felt terrible if it had have been worse than what it was,” he said. “If he could have headed it the other way, it would have been in the fairway.”

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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