Four-time major winning Rory McIlroy set a fine example for golfers around the world when his golf ball was located during the second round of the PGA Championship in San Francisco.
McIlroy sent his tee shot at the par-3 third hole well right of the hole landing in rough less than 20-yards from the green.
While there were no spectators allowed onto the TPC Harding Park course, a large number of ‘approved’ personnel began helping McIlroy look for his ball.
It was located but only after one of those looking for the ball had trod on it.
Under the Rules of Golf, McIlroy took a ‘free’ drop before his ball landed in a far more favourable position than it had been in before the search.
Then in a superb lesson to all weekend golfers the world over, McIlroy spoke to a rules official indicating he was not ‘comfortable’ with the position his ball was low lying.
“I just wouldn’t have felt comfortable. I placed it, and the rule is try to replicate the lie,” McIlroy said.
“No one really knew what the lie was, but if everyone is going around looking for it, it obviously wasn’t too good. So. I placed it, I was like, ‘That just doesn’t look right to me.’”
McIlroy was then observed placing the ball a second time deeper into the rough and into a lie he felt was closer to the original.
He then found the green with his second but then missed his 21-footer for par. McIlroy said he was comfortable with his decision.
“At the end of the day, golf is a game of integrity, and I never try to get away with anything out there,” he said.
“I’d rather be on the wrong end of the rules rather than on the right end, because as golfers that’s just what we believe.”
It was an eventful round for McIlroy, who had six birdies, two bogeys and a triple bogey-7 and finished with a 1-under 69 to be heading to the third round tied in 31st place at one-under par.