U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

Must Be Nice

Rory McIlroy gets back-to-back lucky breaks, benefits from a BRIDGE during wildest par of 2023

November 16, 2023

Rory McIlroy hit a tee shot that wound up in a female fan's lap on Thursday. Incredibly, that wasn't even his wildest hole of the back nine.

The four-time major champ needed a two-time reprieve from the water hazard on the 18th hole of Jumeirah Golf Estates' Earth Course as he wound up making one of the wildest—and luckiest—pars of 2023. Oh, yeah, he also needed a bridge.

McIlroy's finishing five during Day 1 of the DP World Tour Championship had the announcers stunned. It started with a wayward drive to the right that hit off the rocks in the hazard and bounced into the pine straw. And then things got crazier with this second shot that also entered the hazard, but bounced off another rock and onto a bridge to stay dry:

Crazy stuff. I mean, he must have used up all his good breaks for 2023 and 2024 with that, right? It's not fair to be that good AND that lucky!

"Have you ever seen two breaks in succession like this, Ken?" play-by-play announcer Dominik Holyer asked Ken Brown. "You've done this a long time, right?"

"Never," Brown replied with a laugh. "Not when water's involved."

"I mean, two in a row," Holyer continued. "And one off a bridge!"

Even luckier for McIlroy as you can see is his ball rolled just off the bridge and into the grass. So while he wasn't able to take a drop because he was still in a penalty area, he had a decent lie and was able to find the green with his approach. From there he two-putted for par and an opening round of 71 that has him four shots off the early lead.

"I was hoping that my tee shot was going to miss the hazard right but I didn't exactly think that it would do what it did," McIlroy said after. "And the second shot from the mulch, it just sort of started left on me, and yeah got another stroke of luck by coming back over the bridge.

"I was a bit in two minds about whether to go left and cut it or go right. I felt with the longer club by hitting it, there was a chance of clipping the bridge on the way through. So I took a wedge and hit it in. Just tried to hit it as hard as I could and ended up making a good five."

A "good" five? That might be the understatement of the year as well.