Rory McIlroy Whiffs Shot From The Rough At US Open, Avoids Media After 18th Hole Blunder

Rory McIlroy, who unusually whiffed the ball while standing in the rough on the 18th hole during the opening round of the U.S. Open on Thursday, refused to speak with the media. 

After playing well through 17 holes and finishing T5, McIlroy, who last won the U.S. Open in 2011, now stands at 5-under for the day, trailing only Rickie Fowler and Zander Schauffle by just three strokes. 

McIlroy managed to bring the ball out of the dense grass and holed an 11-foot putt for bogey, but the circumstances surrounding what transpired remained a mystery. 

Despite the USGA’s request for media availability, McIlroy reportedly made a beeline for the clubhouse and did not come back, according to the New York Post. In reality, Tuesday’s pre-tournament press conference was also postponed by McIlroy. 

In March, McIlroy, who has had a difficult start to the year overall, declared that he was “ready to get back to being purely a golfer.” 

His duties as a player director on the Tour’s Player Advisory Council and his role as one of the PGA Tour’s most vocal advocates in its legal battle with LIV Golf since last year have undoubtedly taken his attention away from the course. 

“I’ve always thought I’ve had a good handle on the perspective on things and sort of where golf fits within my life, and trying to find purpose outside of golf in some way,” McIlroy said of his break ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship last month. 

“But I think over the last 12 months, I sort of lost sight of that. I’d lost sight of the fact that there’s more to life than the golf world and this little silly squabble that’s going on between tours, and all sorts of stuff.”

Nevertheless, McIlroy’s performance at the Los Angeles Country Club does stand out in light of the recent cease-fire between the circuits. 

The U.S. Open has never had more than two players shoot 65 or better in the opening round. His 30-on-the-front-nine score was his greatest nine-hole total in a major, and he was one of six players to shoot 65 or better.

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