McIlroy had just teed off on the par-3 sixth hole, a towering shot that stopped 5 feet from the hole, when a golf ball flew onto the tee box with an earplug stuck to it.
Yep, an earplug.
“It was sort of weird. That's never really happened to me before,” said McIlroy, who birdied the hole on his way to a 1-over 73.
Fowler was preparing to hit his tee shot when the golf ball landed on the tee box, but he didn’t seem bothered by the incident, hitting his tee shot just left of the green and scrambling for par.
“So random. The guy tried to say it was a gift. I don't know why you would give a gift of a golf ball with an earplug attached to it,” said Fowler, who carded a 1-under 71 on Thursday.
McIlroy said security personnel escorted the fan away.