Wild day for McIlroyRory McIlroy bounced a tee shot off a spectator's head and wound up making double bogey. Then he bounced back with two birdies in the last three holes to put himself back in contention at the British Open.
LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England (AP) — Rory McIlroy bounced a tee shot off a spectator's head and wound up making double bogey. Then he bounced back with two birdies in the last three holes to put himself back in contention at the British Open.
When McIlroy went in search of his drive at No. 15, he wasn't expecting anything worse than a tough lie. Instead, at the end of his wild slice, he discovered a bloodied teenager with a bandaged head and his golf ball out of bounds — by a few inches — next to a burger stand.
The 16-year-old spectator, Jason Blue, from Bristol, got a considerable bruise and an autographed glove for his troubles. In addition to an apology, McIlroy drew a smiley face on the souvenir.
“If he could have headed it the other way, it would have been in the fairway,” McIlroy joked as he recalled the incident.
“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.”
Mickelson ends streak of
18 majors making the cut
LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England (AP) — Phil Mickelson left the British Open perplexed about the state of his game. More surprising is that he left on Friday.
The four-time major champion hit into bunkers and into the high grass. He hit a spectator and nearly drilled a photographer who was crouched in the line of his shot about 20 yards away. He wound up with a 78, and missed the cut in a major for the first in five years, dating to Carnoustie in 2007.
His 18 straight cuts in the majors had been the longest current streak.
“I don't know what to say,” Mickelson said, a phrase he repeated a half-dozen times in an interview that ended when there was really nothing left to ask.
Most aggravating for Lefty is that he doesn't feel that far off.
He worked on his ball position with swing coach Butch Harmon on Thursday after opening with a 73 and was hopeful of turning it around. But it went the other way in a hurry. His approach to the par-4 sixth was slightly to the right and tumbled down into a pot bunker, and the best he could do was to blast out to 15 feet. His par putt narrowly missed, and the 2-footer that followed did a 360-degree circle around the cup for double bogey.
On the next hole, he pushed his drive to the left and beaned a spectator. With a reasonable lie, three photographers tried to capture the shot. Instead of asking them to move, Mickelson ignored them and his shot went about 3 feet over one photographer's head.
The sure sign of a struggle came on the 10th hole.
He tapped in a 2-footer for par using a saw putting grip — rest the club between the left thumb and four fingers. On the 11th tee, putter in hand, he continued to practice the stroke that Mark O'Meara used in his later years, and at one point asked if he were allowed to actually putt a golf ball on the teeing ground.
Alas, it was just a drill.
“That was just for my hands to quiet down,” Mickelson said. “I wasn't going to use it.”