Rory McIlroy hit a patron on the iconic Augusta National course with a wayward approach shot on Friday morning (AEDT) – and it turned out to be his dad.
Gerry McIlroy was watching the opening day of the Masters at Augusta when he got quite the shock.
He was struck on the back of the leg when standing next to the green of the par-4 seventh hole, The Sun reports.
And he was surprised to learn that the errant shot actually came in from his son Rory.
The four-time major champion played his second shot from in the trees along the left hand side of the fairway.
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Gerry McIlroy took it right in the leg.Source:Supplied
And he immediately shouted ‘fore right’ after striking the iron shot and seeing it drift off right.
The approach shot hit father Gerry on the back of the leg, but he seemed unhurt by the blow.
According to Golf Channel reporter Ryan Lavner, Gerry joked: “I should get an autograph”.
Rory walked away with a bogey on the seventh hole and breathed a sigh of relief his dad was OK.
It was a front nine to forget for McIlroy in his bid for an elusive green jacket as he hit the turn at three over par.
Rory McIlroy accidentally hits his dad with this shot during the Masters 😂
It didn’t get any better on the back nine – and he walked into the clubhouse with a 4-over 76, leaving him in real danger of failing to make the cut.
Aussie Jason Day also had a round to forget, carding a 5-over 77.
His new coach Pete Cowen played down expectations of McIlroy winning a first Masters title this week before the tournament.
Cowen said: “Within two days of me starting to work with Rory the Press are thinking I’m a miracle worker, and that he is going to win Augusta.
“Well, he obviously hasn’t won a Major since 2014, so the chances of him winning Augusta are slim.
Rory McIlroy had a direct hit.Source:AFP
“According to form, Ian Poulter’s got more chance of winning the Masters than Rory, because he beat him 6&5 in the Match Play. But people forget I teach Poulter as well.
“A talent like Rory’s, it just needs a little bit of time, and a bit of application. So it’s a work in progress.”
Surprise early leaders on top of 2021 Masters leaderboard
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama shared the early clubhouse lead with American Brian Harman at the 85th Masters on Friday morning while firm and fast Augusta National wreaked havoc upon many of the world’s top golfers.
Harman and Matsuyama, who shared second at the 2017 US Open, were on three-under par 69, each seeking a first major title as they chase the green jacket symbolic of Masters supremacy.
Matsuyama sank a 20-foot birdie putt at the par-5 second hole, rolled in a 25-foot eagle putt at the par-5 eighth and added a birdie at the par-5 13th before a bogey at the 17th.
Harman went birdie-bogey to close the front nine, then the left-hander birdied the par-5 13th and 15th and closed with another birdie.
“I just hung in there early,” Harman said. “The course is playing very difficult.” Neither Matsuyama nor Harman has won a US PGA Tour event since 2017.
— This story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk and has been republished with permission
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