Rory McIlroy hit his method on the seventh gap on the Masters proper the place he was aiming.
Problem was, he was aiming at his father.
Here’s a story that can be a part of McIlroy household lore for most likely perpetually: Gerry McIlroy was standing close to the best aspect of the inexperienced, watching his son play his second shot from off to the left of the green on Thursday. The ball wound up hitting Gerry McIlroy within the left leg.
“It was a perfect shot,” Rory McIlroy mentioned.
Well, type of. He wound up making bogey, which was his third consecutive one at that time.
“It was dead straight,” Rory McIlroy mentioned. “But I think he was OK. He didn’t limp away. He walked away pretty swiftly, so that was all right.”
Gerry McIlroy is a reasonably good golfer himself. He launched his son to the sport way back, and has developed fairly a following amongst his fellow members at his house course, Seminole Golf Club in Florida.
He’ll be getting mileage off this story for years.
Rory McIlroy additionally had a tee shot spray proper on the par-4 eleventh, inflicting some patrons to tap-dance out of the way in which. He completed with a 4-over 76, not precisely boosting his probabilities of lastly successful a Masters and finishing the profession grand slam.
There’s a convention of kinds in golf that when somebody will get struck by an errant ball, the golfer indicators a glove and presents it to the particular person as a part-apology, part-souvenir. McIlroy didn’t appear to be he was planning to offer one to his dad.
“I think he just needs to go and put some ice on,” he mentioned. “Maybe I’ll autograph a bag of frozen peas for him.”
Tommy Fleetwood had no birdies within the opening spherical of the Masters.
A hole-in-one made him smile anyway.
Fleetwood made an ace on the 170-yard sixteenth gap Thursday, the thirty second in Masters historical past. Of these, 23 have come on the sixteenth.
Fleetwood completed the day with 4 bogeys, the ace and shot a 2-over 74. There have been no aces on the Masters final yr; Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau each made one on the sixteenth in 2019.
On a day when it was robust sufficient to go low, Abraham Ancer’s scorecard took one other blow after he accomplished his spherical.
Augusta National officers dominated that Ancer unknowingly touched the sand along with his membership earlier than taking his third stroke from a greenside bunker on the par-5 fifteenth gap.
Ancer was assessed a two-stroke penalty, bumping his rating on the opening from a 6 to a triple-bogey 8. His general rating elevated to 3-over 75, leaving him 10 photographs behind chief Justin Rose.
Ancer tweeted that whereas he was “gutted, I can’t wait to get after it tomorrow.” Ancer had already signed his scorecard and exited the scoring space when the committee reviewed video proof of the incident.
Because the membership touching the sand was deemed seen to the bare eye, officers determined to evaluate the penalty. If that had not been the case, the video proof would have been disregarded.
Jordan Spieth hit a tee shot into the timber, hit an method off one other tree, and three-putted from inside 10 toes.
Lucky for him, all these miscues got here on the identical gap.
Spieth had a triple-bogey 7 on No. 9 Thursday, after spraying his tee shot into some timber, clunking his restoration attempt off one other tree, ultimately lacking a bogey putt that simply wouldn’t cease because it trickled previous the opening � and, after all, lacking the 5-footer that will have saved double as properly.
The 2015 Masters champion shook it off rapidly, made birdie on the subsequent gap to get again on observe and shot a 1-under 71.
LAST SHALL BE FIRST
Brian Harman was the final participant to get into the Masters. When he completed his opening spherical, his was the primary title on the leaderboard.
Harman made three birdies during the last six holes for a 3-under 69. That matches his finest rating at Augusta National, although it’s a small pattern dimension. This is barely Harman’s third look within the Masters.
He had little cause to be consider he can be right here in April.
Only a month in the past, Harman was at No. 95 on the planet rating. He tied for third at The Players Championship, and that bought him into the Match Play. The Match Play was the ultimate event for gamers to crack the highest 50, and
Harman reached the quarterfinals. That bought him to No. 49, and he was on his strategy to the Masters.
Being a late entry had its benefits.
“Probably so,” Harman mentioned. “The previous two times I’ve played it, I’ve certainly looked forward to it maybe and prepared too much for it. I just kind of came in here, and I know the course pretty well. I’ve played here bunches of time. I love it around here. It’s just a matter of having my game ready.”
Based on what bought him right here, he was prepared. Harman mentioned his quick recreation has been on music, and that by no means hurts at Augusta National.
When Lee Elder, the primary Black participant to play within the Masters, went to the tee for the honorary starter ceremony with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player on Thursday morning, there have been about 100 folks carrying inexperienced caps with “1975” written in white throughout the entrance.