World No. 1 Rory McIlroy is staring at a hefty fine after hurling a four-iron into the water in disgust on the second day of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral.
McIlroy was playing his second shot at the par five eighth hole and found the water guarding the green.
Then to the shock of all, the four-time Major winner just let fly a state-of-the art $200 (€184) Nike Vapor iron into one of the many alligator-infested lakes on the ‘Blue Monster’ layout.
McIlroy took a penalty drop on route to a bogey ‘six’ but was still inside the top-20 near the end of his round,
The incident immediately rekindled memories of the late and fellow US Open winner ‘Terrible Tempered’ Tommy Bolt who once threw a driver into a hazard, and also in Miami, so deep that it could not be retrieved.
In 1957, the PGA Tour adopted the “Tommy Bolt rule” prohibiting the throwing of clubs. The day after it was passed, Bolt tossed a putter because he wanted to be the first one fined for breaking “his” rule.
For McIlroy, it was the second time in his second round McIlroy had found the water while he also put a ball into the drink at 18 a day earlier.
Within minutes of the incident European Tour chief referee, Andy McFee advised that under European Tour rules, McIlroy would be fined but given this week’s $9.25m event is in the US, any breach of behaviour is administered by the PGA Tour.
But then the PGA Tour has a policy, and as we saw recently with Dustin Johnson, of not publicly revealing whether a player has been fined or suspended.
The last time McIlroy hurled anything on a golf course was his winning golf ball into the crowd in capturing the recent Dubai Desert Classic.
However McIlroy threw two clubs and broke one during a frustrating final round 76 in the 2013 US Open at Merion in Pennsylvania.
Fellow Major winner Adam Scott, who posted a four under par 68 to move to the clubhouse lead on six under par sympathised with McIlroy.
“I can understand Rory throwing a club as it’s the most frustrating game ever,” said Scott.
“So I am not surprised to learn he’s thrown a club as we’ve all done it whether your a pro or just playing at your local club on a weekend.
“It’s shocking when you see it from a leading Tour player but it’s a brutal game and tell me who hasn’t thrown a club.
“I threw one back home in Australia about four years ago just playing a social round and I wasn’t even playing in a match.
“But then I have to say it felt good. Though I didn’t throw it forward, as Tommy Bolt use to recommend, and actually made the mistake of throwing it backwards (smiling).”
This latest incident, and clearly not an example for McIlroy’s ever-growing number of younger fans, continues a frustrating two weeks for the 25-year old at the start of the PGA Tour’s ‘Florida Swing’.
McIlroy remarked a week ago he was “pissed off” to have missed the cut in the Honda Classic while on Thursday he agreed to being “cheesed off” in posting a round of 73 that included an outward half of 40.
Shane Lowry posted a two over par 74 to be sharing 24th place at one over par while Graeme McDowell recorded a second straight 73 to be at two over par after 36 holes.
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