There aren’t many professional golfers you’d pick to hit you in the face with a golf ball, but Rory McIlroy and his 180.29 mile per hour average ball speed is definitely one fans should try to avoid.
Unfortunately for a fan lining the right side of the par-5 7th hole at Muirfield Village Golf Club on Friday at the Memorial Tournament, he was unable to get out of the way of a wayward McIlroy drive.
McIlroy unleashed a drive that would be measured at 316 yards, but it made a sudden and painful stop just below the mouth of the unsuspecting fan.
— P Norton (@P_Norton) May 31, 2019
A delayed “fore right” call was made, but it was too late. McIlroy visibly winced on the tee box upon seeing the fan get struck.
“I guess I caught him right under his lip,” McIlroy said after the round. “He had like a pretty deep gash sort of on his chin.”
“I’m sorry, not much a glove does for that, maybe stop the bleeding a little bit. I just said I’m sorry. I felt bad because I thought it was going to pitch in the first cut and run into the heavier stuff, I didn’t think it was going to fly all the way there. I felt bad about that. But he seemed to be okay.”
McIlroy greeted the fan upon reaching his ball and offered an apology and a signed glove. The fan was then taken away by tournament officials to receive further treatment for his injuries.
McIlroy would go on to make par on the hole and shoot a second round score of 1-under par 71 to miss the cut by one.
The Northern Irishman is playing next week in the Canadian Open and then at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
“I was glad to have (the Canadian Open next week) either way, whether this was a good week or not,” McIlroy said. “I feel like I really need to play my way into the U.S. Open considering how I’ve played the last three years.”
McIlroy has missed the cut at each of the previous three U.S. Opens.