NAPA, Calif. – Rory McIlroy nearly got drilled by an incoming tee shot left of the 17th green Saturday.
“Would have put me out of my misery,” he said with a laugh.
It was a rare moment of excitement during an otherwise quiet round at Silverado. McIlroy shot a second consecutive 71 and, at 6-under 210, was outside the top 35 when he finished his round.
Much of the discussion after the round was about what happened on the 17th green, when Emiliano Grillo’s tee shot missed McIlroy’s head by a few inches.
Playing in the group behind, Grillo said he and his fellow playing competitors agreed that the green had been cleared so they could play up to the 296-yard hole. McIlroy was just left of the green, walking up to survey his third shot.
“Not his fault,” McIlroy said. “You can’t see much from back there.”
Grillo ripped a driver on what he thought was an ideal line. It wasn’t until after the round that he was told that he nearly plunked the No. 3-ranked player in the world.
The rookie was apologetic afterward, of course, and said that he hoped to chat with McIlroy to clear up the miscommunication. Then he added: “That would have been bad.”