British Open Favorite Rory McIlroy Loses Tourney on First Hole … Probably

McIlroy’s opening tee shot hit a woman out of bounds and broke her cell phone

Rory McIlroy reacts on the 10th hole during day one of The Open Championship. (David Davies/PA Images via Getty)
Rory McIlroy reacts on the 10th hole during day one of The Open Championship. (David Davies/PA Images via Getty)
By Evan Bleier / July 18, 2019 9:03 am

Rory McIlroy’s first round at The Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland got off to a bang.

Unfortunately for the tournament favorite, the bang was his opening shot breaking a woman’s cell phone after his opening tee shot careened out of bounds and struck her.

After striking the 34-year-old woman along the side of the first fairway, McIlroy had to take a provisional tee shot and ended up with a quadruple-bogey 8 on the par-4, 421-yard hole.

No major winner in the past 20 years has started a tournament with worse than a double-bogey, according to ESPN Stats & Information. For McIlroy, it’s only the second quadruple-bogey he’s had in a major and only the fourth in his PGA Tour career.

The horrible first hole dropped McIlroy’s odds to win The Open from 8-to-1 to 33-to-1 on online betting sites.

“I’m just treating this like any other Open Championship,” McIlroy said prior to the tournament. “I’ve played well here for the last few years. I’ve played well on this golf course. So I’ve just got to go out and hit the shots and stay in the present. If I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, hopefully by Sunday night that will be good enough.”

Following the quadruple-bogey, McIlroy added another bogey on the third hole.

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