World No. 2 Rory McIlroy wrote the word ‘sorry’ on a golf club and handed it to Bristol teenager, Jason Blue after a wild drive down the right side of the 15th hole during the opening round of this year’s Open Championship.
The teenager was flat on his back when McIlroy arrived and already being attended to by paramedics.
Blue was hit on the back of the head and with McIlroy’s then landing out-of-bounds and at the back of a hamburger stand.
After establishing the teenager was okay McIlroy pulled out a glove glove and autographed it under the word ‘sorry’.
There was then much choas as spectator flocked to see McIlroy close-up and also in trouble.
He and his caddy, J P Fitzgerald thought the ball was out-of-bounds but to make sure McIlroy called for a rules official and with the European Tour’s David Garland confirmed McIlroy’s fears.
Garland then drove McIlroy and Fitzgerald back to the tee where McIlroy found the fairway with his third and on route to a double bogey ‘six’.
“I didn’t realise that there was out of bounds over there, and they didn’t even paint the white line,” said McIlroy.
“It was just post to post, so it was by a couple of inches, yeah.
“But all I could say to the young fellow was sorry. There’s not much else you can say.
“The ball went about 20 yards right of where he was standing, and tf he could have headed it the other way, it would have been in the fairway.
“But it’s happened a few times before, so it’s not the first time. The most important thing was that he was okay. Because I would have felt terrible if it had have been worse than what it was.”
However last year’s U.S. Open champion bounced back immediately just missing an eagle putt at the par four 16th but holing the birdie and then also holing an eight-foot birdie on 18 to finish with a three under par 69.