It was the most awkward lie of the day for Rory McIlroy.
The four-time major winner’s tee shot on the par-3 13th hole at the World Tour Championship on Thursday somehow landed in the lap of a female spectator as she lay on grass to the right of the green.
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Amid much laughter, the rest of the spectators retreated, but the woman remained lying down, with her feet crossed and the ball lodged between her legs.
McIlroy went up to her, scratched his head, then feigned a shot — to the amusement of the gallery. McIlroy stood back and said: “Right, ermm. Referee!”
The match referee arrived and gave McIlroy a drop, saying: “Basically, it’s the spot underneath her.”
“You can get up,” a laughing McIlroy said to the woman, who handed him the ball, stood up, picked up her bag and returned to the gallery to cheers.
McIlroy chipped onto the green and wound up making bogey.