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Rory McIlory’s wayward drive somehow found its way into a spectator’s lap at the DP World Tour Championship. 

The Northern Irishman found the galleries with his sprayed iron shot on the par-3 13th hole on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.

And he delighted crowds to the right of the green with his light-hearted reaction to an awkward lie, as the woman in question shrewdly stayed still with the ball lodged between her legs.

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McIlroy, who had just come off a bogey on the previous hole, scratched his head in disbelief, before pretending to play a shot off the woman’s legs, cueing the inevitable “play it as it lies” jokes from the excitable crowd.

McIlroy then said “Right, ermm, referee?” as he called for a rules official to solve the most unusual of problems.

The referee gave McIlroy a free drop in the spot directly beneath the woman who had handed the ball to the four-time major champion.

But he failed to get up and down as he ended up with another bogey on his way to shooting a one-under 71 in his opening round.

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McIlroy is playing with Jon Rahm in his opening two rounds at the Earth Course, but already has an unassailable lead over his Spanish rival in the DP World Tour’s season-long standings, meaning he will lift his fifth Race to Dubai title this weekend.



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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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