Every shot counts in golf, but each one is magnified that much more during a major. One swing can mean victory and immortality, or defeat. Rory McIlroy experienced one of those moments on Friday and it could very well be the difference in this week’s quest to achieve the career grand slam.
The four-time major champion fought hard all day battling the wind going out in even par. After a bogey on the par-3 12th, McIlroy got one back with a birdie on the difficult 17th. He split the 18th fairway and was in prime position to get it into red figures. From 140 yards, Rory hit the flagstick a la Tiger in 2013, and the ball caromed off the green leaving him a pitch which he was unable to get up and down. He walked off with a tough bogey and a one-over par round of 73 leaving him five strokes back in a tie for 13th.
“I thought it was perfect. It was a good number,” he said of his second shot at the last, according to Golf Channel. “It was one of those ones where you had 10 or 11 yards behind the pin, I could bring it back. I hit a really good shot, just a bit unfortunate.”
While the two-shot swing on the 18th at Augusta National stung, he knows he’s still in a position to make a move this weekend.
“I know more than most what can happen on Sundays around here, good and bad,” McIlroy said.
Maybe if Rory took a page out of Phil’s book and had his caddie tend the pin from the fairway like Lefty did on Friday, that never would’ve happened!
You know your short game is ready for #TheMasters when you have your caddie tend the flag from 60 yards out.
Phil. Mickelson. pic.twitter.com/bieH2kvxjb
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) April 7, 2017
There was also a shot that didn’t hit the stick and it came from Branden Grace on the par-5 15th. It was the first eagle on the hole this week:
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 7, 2017
This weekend promises to be a dandy with perfect weather and leaderboard chock full of big names like Rickie, Sergio, Phil, Spieth Rose, Scott and the ageless Fred Couples! Take a look for yourself:
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