April 8 (UPI) — Rory McIlroy accidentally struck his father, Gerry, in the leg with his approach shot on hole No. 7 Thursday at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga.
McIlroy’s father wasn’t injured after the golf ball hit him in the back of the leg as he walked to the green. The elder McIlroy joked with reporters about the incident, saying: “I should ask for an autographed glove.”
“In fairness, it was where I was trying to turn it off,” McIlroy said of his shot. “It was a perfect shot — it was dead straight. I think he was OK. He didn’t limp away, he walked away pretty swiftly.”
It was one of multiple errant shots for McIlroy, who shot a 4-over 76 in Thursday’s first round of the Masters. It marked his third consecutive opening round over par at Augusta National, where he is trying to become just the sixth player to complete the career Grand Slam.
“My goal is to play well and at least give myself a chance,” McIlroy said. “Honestly, I’m quite encouraged with how I hit it on the way in. I hit some loose shots out there, but after hitting the 6-iron in the water on 13, I hit some really good shots coming in. So I’m encouraged by that.”
McIlroy, a former world No. 1, hasn’t won on tour in more than 17 months. His last major championship victory came at the 2014 PGA Championship.
Moments from the 2021 Masters Tournament