MEDINAH, Ill. – Rory McIlroy’s disappointing Ryder Cup nearly ended in disaster. McIlroy arrived at Medinah Country Club just 10 minutes before his 12:25 p.m. ET tee time. (Click for full singles matches)
Note, that’s Eastern Time not Central Time. Golf Channel’s Steve Sands reported that McIlroy thought his singles match against Keegan Bradley was 12:25 local time. In order to make it to the Chicago-area course in time – and make it through the enormous crowds and traffic – McIlroy received a police escort.
McIlroy ran from his car to the practice putting green, hit a couple of putts, ate an energy bar and then pushed his tee shot right.
'We did start to get a bit nervous when we were hanging around the locker room and then someone realized Rory was not there,' European captain Jose Maria Olazabal said. 'We had a look around for him and then called to see where it was. Of course it would have been bad if he had missed it, but it all worked out and he got here just in time.'
Thousands of fans on the first tee had fun at McIlroy’s expense. As Bradley waited on the tee, they chanted, “Where is Rory?”
And when he finally made his way across the scaffolding and toward 1 tee, they yelled, “Cen-tral time zone!”
With a smile on his face, McIlroy told Sands that he blamed Golf Channel for his late arrival because he kept hearing that his match was at 12:25 ET, forgetting what time zone he was in.
“I’ve never been so worried driving to the golf course,” McIlroy said after defeating the previously unbeaten Bradley, 2 and 1. “Luckily, there was a state trooper outside. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have got here (in time).”