Published Saturday, 18 January 2014
Rory McIlroy talks to caddie Dave Renwick on the 18th green (© Getty)
The 24-year-old thought he had carded a 68 to finish 11 under par and just one shot behind leader Craig Lee, when Dave Renwick, caddie to his playing partner Ricardo Gonzalez, spoke to him on the 18th green to inform him of a possible infraction before he signed his card.
Renwick felt McIlroy had not taken full relief from a spectator crossing on the second hole and when video evidence proved inconclusive, McIlroy and European Tour chief referee John Paramor headed back to the par five to examine the area in question.
It was then determined that McIlroy's left foot had been touching the white line denoting the crossing and a two-shot penalty was applied.
"I'm going to go and hit the gym so hard," a clearly frustrated McIlroy said on Saturday. "I'm going to run myself into the ground to try to get some of the frustration out."
The Holywood golfer, who said he had "better things to think about" than keeping up to date with the rules, added: "I hit my second shot on the second into the left rough but on the spectator crosswalk. I took a drop and played my shot but I did not notice my left foot was still on the line and you need to take full relief."
There are a lot of stupid rules in golf and this is one of them.
He explained: "We went out to see it again and see my divot and it was clear I could not have played my shot with my feet anywhere else. It's unfortunate. If anything it was a disadvantage because I dropped it in a bad lie and did not make birdie.
"I have to try to make up the shots as early as possible tomorrow. It gives me a bit of extra motivation."
McIlroy last fell foul of the rules in Abu Dhabi in 2012 for brushing away some sand that was not on the green but which lay between his ball and the flag.
On that occasion it was playing partner Luke Donald who pointed out the error and McIlroy admitted both Donald and Renwick had done the right thing.
"You have to adhere to the rules of this game and he (Renwick) was pointing out something he thought was questionable," McIlroy added. "He was just doing what I guess anyone would."
The incident overshadowed both Lee's chance to claim a first European Tour title and the brilliance of Phil Mickelson earlier in the day, who charged through the field with a 63.
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