DORAL, Fla. – Rory McIlroy normally doesn’t carry a 3-iron, instead opting for an extra wedge, so when he tugged his second shot into the par-5 eighth hole into the water he figured he had nothing to lose.
“I just let frustration getting the better of me,” said McIlroy, who threw the club some 60 yards into the lake. “It was heat of the moment, and I mean, if it had been any other club I probably wouldn't have, but I didn't need a 3-iron for the rest of the round so I thought, why not?”
McIlroy hit his next shot to 55 feet for a two-putt bogey, his third of the day, and finished with a 2-under 70 and is tied for 11th place after two rounds at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
At the next hole, a 198-yard par 3, the world No. 1 hit a 5-iron into a greenside bunker, but he saved his par and birdied two of his next three holes.
“When you're struggling you need something to just give you a spark. I'm not saying that was it, but it could have been,” he said. “But I played a little better on the back nine, but still just not as comfortable with my game as I'd like.”
Henrik Stenson, who was paired with McIlroy on Friday, has his own history with frustration-induced damage to clubs, and was the first person to approach the Northern Irishman after the incident.
“[Stenson] said, ‘Well, if you can't get on SportsCenter with your play, at least you can do it with something else,’” McIlroy laughed. “He was quite funny. He's been prone to doing a thing or two like that in the past, as well, so he can relate.”