HomeGolfMcIlroy confident in his karma after rules confusion - News - Irish...

McIlroy confident in his karma after rules confusion – News – Irish Golf Desk


Related stories

NFL UK Exec Names Ireland As International Market Being Explored For Future Game

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t played a regular season game...

Dragons take early Super Series honours

CIYMS, Belfast – Early showers threatened to put an...

‘No man is left alone’ – Louth manager Ger Brennan has Wee men thinking big

Six months into this inter-county managerial lark and he’s...

Antrim retain Leinster status following victory over Carlow

The Saffrons simply had to avoid defeat and although...

Rory McIlroy sensationally roared back to form with a brilliant 65 in The Players and insisted he had “karma” on his side after two penalty drops were disputed by playing partner Jordan Spieth.

The Holywood star put some indifferent iron play behind him and made ten birdies — including six in his first eight holes at TPC Sawgrass — to share the early lead with Xander Schauffele on seven-under, one stroke clear of Canadian Nick Taylor.

It might have been even better, but the world number two twice pulled drivers into the water, leading to a bogey at the 18th (his ninth) and a double-bogey six at the seventh.

Playing partners Spieth and Viktor Hovland were unsure where either drive had crossed the penalty area, with the drop at the seventh leading to a seven-minute discussion.

While they eventually agreed on the dropping point at the 18th, where McIlroy hit a 273-yard five-wood to the green and two-putted from 60 feet for a bogey, it took seven minutes to agree at the seventh with Spieth heavily involved.

TV pictures showed McIlroy’s drive pitch and bounce into the water, but it was unclear whether it bounced in play before crossing the red line.

“I think Jordan was just trying to make sure that I was doing the right thing,” McIlroy insisted when asked if Spieth’s animated intervention was “needless”.

“I mean, I was pretty sure that my ball had crossed where I was sort of dropping it. It’s so hard, right, because there was no TV evidence. I was adamant.”

Neither Hovland nor Spieth—who disagrees with McIlroy over the need to do a deal with the PIF or welcome LIV Golf rebels back without sanction — spoke afterwards. But McIlroy was adamant he’d done nothing wrong.

“Again, like I feel like I’m one of the most conscientious golfers out here, so if I feel like I’ve done something wrong, it’ll play on my conscience for the rest of the tournament,” he said.

“I’m a big believer in karma, and if you do something wrong, I feel like it’s going to come around and bite you at some point.

“I obviously don’t try to do anything wrong out there, and play by the rules and do the right thing. I feel like I obviously did that on those two drops.”

He was disappointed to make a double-bogey six at the seventh, but he fist-pumped after rolling in a 17-footer for a closing birdie four.

It was McIlroy’s lowest opening round in The Players and he was delighted to see his iron play back to its best as he equaled the birdie count record for a round at Sawgrass with ten.

“Obviously my iron play was much improved compared to the last few weeks, which I’ve worked hard on over the last three days,” he said, before joking, “It would be nice to shoot 62 and not have two in the water, I guess.

“I didn’t have many expectations going out there today because I was like, okay, feels good on the range and feels good in practice, but let’s see how it is when you’ve got a card in your hand.”

Meanwhile, Conor Purcell opened with a four-under 68 to lie just three shots behind France’s Martin Couvra and England’s Steven Brown in the Delhi Challenge in India.

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories