There’s a teenage golf fan waking up in a swanky hotel this morning wondering how the hell he got there and how the hell he got his hands on a signed Rory McIlroy golf glove.
McIlroy hit a wayward drive off the 15th tee during his opening round of the British Open at Royal Lytham yesterday and 16-year old Jason Blue felt the full force of McIlroy’s misdirection after being whacked straight in the head by the errant golf ball.
Jason was left feeling more than a little blue afterwards and still seemed a little the worse for wear by the time McIlroy arrived and apologised for his actions by handing the youngster a glove with his signature, the word ‘Sorry’ and a sad face emoticon, as is the style with the young folks these days.
It wasn’t only the injured fan that was ruing the fact that ball had just him on the head, however, as it subsequently landed out of bounds afterwards, forcing McIlroy to cop a two-shot penalty and to re-take his tee shot again, although he did go on to salvage a double bogey six on his way to an impressive opening round of three under par.
Had the ball not hit the young fan, or if he had the presence of mind to head it back onto the fairway (we’re joking), the ball would have remained in play and by the end of the first day, McIlroy might have been a lot closer to the first round leader Adam Scott, who shot a 64 to take the clubhouse lead on six under par.
Blue had been due to stay in a campsite last night, but worrying that he mightn’t be in for a comfortable night’s sleep with a massive lump on his head, the kind-hearted McIlroy intervened and coughed up a few quid so his victim could stay in a nice hotel and have a slap-up meal with his mate.
“Rory didn’t want him in a tent, he wanted him somewhere comfortable where someone could keep an eye on him. He’s put him up in a hotel and given him a bit of pocket money for dinner with his pal,” said McIlroy’s manager Conor Ridge afterwards.
It was a lovely gesture from McIlroy, but he’s developing an unfortunate habit of whacking spectators with errant drives, having rattled an American spectator with another wayward shot at Quail Hollow back in May.
Keep it on the fairway over the next few days Rory and the second major could well be in the bag by Sunday evening.
Check out his latest unintentional meeting with the audience in the video above.