March 16, 2024

Rory McIlroy forced to step away from ball after bizarre encounter at Sawgrass | Golf | Sport

Rory McIlroy’s strange run-in with a frog perfectly captured his messy round at the Players Championship. During the second day at TPC Sawgrass, McIlroy had an odd encounter with a frog at the third hole par-three.

McIlroy started Friday tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Wyndham Clark, after an excellent seven-under-par 65 in Thursday’s first round. However, he didn’t do as well in the second, carding a one-over 73 and falling behind after Clark put out another solid round of golf.

McIlroy, the 2019 champion, began his second round with a disappointing bogey on the first hole due to a poor tee shot and approach that left him in the left-hand bunker.

But true to form, McIlroy quickly recovered, making a birdie on the par-five second hole. Though the ups and downs were just starting.

On the third hole, a par-three, McIlroy hit his ball to the right, leaving him with a difficult second shot out of the thick green-side rough, reports the Mirror.

Just as he was preparing to take his next shot, a frog jumped into action, causing the 34 year old to step away from his ball. This interruption didn’t help him, as he missed the green with his chip and ended up adding another bogey to his score card.

Clark, the reigning US Open champion, had a solid start with two 65s in a row. McIlroy was eager to catch up and started his round with a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but managed to hit birdies at the fourth and fifth holes.

However, McIlroy’s game took a turn for the worse when he scored a five at the sixth hole due to some issues with his irons. He managed to steady himself with two pars in a row, and ended the first half of his game with a much-needed birdie, putting him one-under for the day.

This left McIlroy trailing Clark by six points, which soon became seven after another bogey at the twelfth hole. He made up for this with a two at the next hole, but a double bogey immediately after put a damper on his comeback.

He managed to maintain his score with four pars in a row, ending Friday’s game with a one-over 73, leaving him eight points behind leader Clark.

The US Open champion holds a four-point lead over the rest of the players, with Canada’s Nick Taylor and Olympic champion Xander Schauffele tied for second place at 10-under.

Schauffele, who is on the hunt for his first victory in nearly two years, assessed his odds of catching up to his Ryder Cup teammate. “Yeah, I’ve won from behind,” he shared after the round.

“I think it should be maybe a little bit easier, but for the most part we’re just all here – like, we try to stick to our own process and get in our own world, and you kind of forget where you’re at when you do that well.”


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