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How brutal is the rough at East Lake, host venue for this week’s PGA Tour season finale?

Very – as defending champion Rory McIlroy perfectly demonstrated.

Playing in the second round of the Tour Championship, the final event of this truncated campaign, the world No.4 and new dad found his ball sitting down in the thick stuff just off the fairway on the par-5 18th. 

Needing to carry a water hazard to reach the green, and almost up to his ankles in lush Bermuda grass, McIlroy pulled out a fairway wood. What happened next is something that every amateur golfer will be able to relate to.

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Watch the footage below…

The worst shot of McIlroy’s career? It’s definitely right up there.

It was a bad way to finish an otherwise good day’s work, too. The resultant bogey saw him sign for a one-over 71 to lie eight-under for the tournament at halfway, five shots adrift of leader Dustin Johnson.

Listen up!


After his round, the Northern Irishman explained what happened.

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“The lie was sort of iffy,” he said. “My biggest concern was trying to carry the first bunker on the right. I knew I needed to hit it really hard and I swung hard at it. I got it maybe like right in the middle of the ball. I felt like if I tried to sweep it, it would be better, and I just sort of came up on it a little bit.

“Probably in hindsight [I was] trying to take on a little bit too much. So yeah, and then it would have been nice to get away with a par. It wasn’t to be.”

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