McIlroy's ball hits young Open spectator
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy made a lasting impression on one young golf fan at the Open Championship at Royal Lytham, when his ball hit him and bounced out of bounds during the opening round.
Thursday, 19 July 2012
Jason Blue was not badly injured when the incident happened on the 15th hole on Thursday.
McIlroy approached the 16-year-old, who was trying to stem the flow of blood from his head, handing the teen a signed glove.
The incident cost McIlroy two shots and threatened to derail his bid for a second major, as he was forced to go back to the tee and ended up double-bogeying the hole.
"I hit it slightly right and got an unfortunate break. I thought I did well to keep my composure after that," said McIlroy.
"It went 20 yards right off his head. He could have headed it the other way!"
The most important thing was that he was okay and the birdie at 18 will make dinner taste very nice.
But the world number two still finished in a strong position on the first day of the championship, along with fellow NI golfer Graeme McDowell.
The pair carded opening rounds of par 67, finishing in tied fifth place at three under par, just three shots off early leader Adam Scott, while Darren Clarke could only manage a disastrous six over par 76.
"You've got to try to get into a relaxed frame of mind, get the attitude correct for the day and accept that you're going to make mistakes," G-Mac said.
"I did that today and reacted well generally to my mistakes - that's all you can ask for."
It looks like the defending Open champ could do with finding that kind of relaxed frame of mind, after he was left joking to the press pack that his thoughts on his performance weren't printable.
"It's a long drive back home, isn't it?" Darren Clarke laughed.
"I'm basically disgusted with myself. I shouldn't say so, but it's very poor and not what I was after."