Golf: Rory McIlroy drive hits fan in crowd and breaks her phone in nightmare start at The Open

By Mirror: Thursday, July 18th 2019 at 15:11 GMT +3 | Sports
Rory McIlroy suffered a nightmare start at The Open on Thursday [Courtesy]

Rory McIlroy suffered a nightmare start at The Open on Thursday as he carded a quadruple-bogey eight on the par-four first at Royal Portrush.

The Northern Irishman, winner in 2014, walked on to the tee to huge roars but drove his tee shot out of bounds, hitting a spectator in the process.

Local favourite McIlroy went over to Anna McHelvey from Bangor to apologise after his drive smashed the 34-year-old's phone that was in her pocket.

His follow-up attempt off the tee found heavy rough from where he struck his next shot into an unplayable lie in a bramble bush, forcing a penalty drop.

McIlroy then chipped on to the green where he eventually picked his ball out of the hole with an eight on his card.

The 30-year-old four-time major winner is tipped as one of the favourites for the first Open in Northern Ireland since 1951 but already found himself eight shots off the early lead held by Ireland's Shane Lowry.

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