It didn’t take long for the management at Liberty National to send out a search party for Rory McIlroy’s ‘missing’ 3-wood. McIlroy unwittingly revealed he had tossed his 3-wood into trees off the ninth tee during Monday’s final round of the Northern Trust at the New Jersey course
The four-time major winner, who is a member of Liberty National, said in tossing his 3-wood he tried to land it on the New Jersey Turnpike but looking at our Google snap of the area around the 9th tee, there’s no way McIlroy would get anywhere near I-78 with his throw. So, where is the club?
“Once we saw the quote, we sent a couple of maintenance guys and golf guys out there, and they climbed trees and spent at least two or three different trips of at least half-hour, 45 minutes a piece,” said Lee Smith, the GM at Liberty National speaking with Golf.com.
And Smith indicated in the short time since McIlroy made the announcement, at around 12.30pm local US time on Wednesday, there had been dozens spotted down in the vicinity of the 9th tee, but with most outside the perimeter looking for the club.
“We’ve had to position somebody out there, because there are people trying to climb the fence to look for it,” he said. “We’ve had to secure the area to where we wouldn’t have trespassers.”
Unlike the easy task in retrieving McIlroy’s 3-iron from the bottom of a water hazard at the Blue Monster course that he’d thrown it in during the 2015 WGC – Cadillac Championship, finding McIlroy’s 3-wood is proving a lot harder.
“We tried to read between the lines of his quote,” Smith added. “If you know the 9th hole, there’s a little road that you hit over. Down below where that tee is, is actually where the compound is for the sign company that works for the tournament, as well as the caterers. We perused all of that area and tried to look for it.”
According to Golf.com, Smith said it’s possible a worker in the compound recovered the club on Monday or Tuesday and “didn’t know what it was, or isn’t on social media and didn’t know the buzz around this thing.
“Our next step is to dispatch a drone to survey the area until something gets recovered,” he said. “You never know what we’ll find out there — there could be other clubs.”
What happens if the club is found on Liberty National property? Smith said they would approach McIlroy to see if he would want the club returned to him.
“I’m sure he would decline,” Smith said. “And, at that point, we’ll probably keep it under lock and key.”
Or you could do what they have done at Trump Doral and put the club on display in the Pro Shop. Regardless, McIlroy jetted home to recover an old 3-wood from the garage prior to his opening round 64 at the BMW; using it to great effect in sending it 287 yards to the 16th green to set up his sole eagle on day one at Caves Valley.
- Full scoring HERE