Rory McIlroy’s 345-yard shot beaten into second in US PGA long drive contest

Korea's Byeong Hun An came out on top in the long drive contest at the US PGA Championship, much to the irritation of Rory McIlroy.

All players had the opportunity to hit one tee shot on the first hole at Baltusrol on Tuesday, with the distance measured as long as the ball finished on the fairway.

McIlroy had set a daunting target of 345 yards early in the morning and looked set to win the gold money clip and a 25,000 US dollar donation to a charity of his choice, only for An to beat him by two yards.

Rory McIlroy watches his tee shot on the first hole during a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament at Baltusrol Golf Club. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
Rory McIlroy watches his tee shot on the first hole during a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament at Baltusrol Golf Club. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

"I'm a little bit gutted," McIlroy said with a smile. "That would have been a mini victory this week and I hit mine at half eight this morning when there was no wind. I pulled it a little bit, so I was a little concerned it might just miss the fairway left, but it just hung on.

"I'm not going to lie to you, I've been checking the board since to see if anyone's got up close to me. I saw Gary Woodland on the putting green just as he was going out and I said that's one of the guys I'm worried about. I thought he could maybe get it out there by me. But thankfully he missed the fairway.

"It's a cool concept. It's a lot of fun and I think the guys enjoy it."

McIlroy had to settle for a silver money clip and a 15,000 dollar donation, with Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts winning a bronze clip and 10,000 dollars for third after a drive of 341 yards.

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