McIlroy makes first PGA Tour hole in one – “I threw the ball away!”

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy tees off on the 12th hole during the third round of the 2023 U.S. Open at The Los Angeles Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif. on Saturday, June 17, 2023. (Robert Beck/USGA)

When you make a hole in one it’s an unwritten rule that you keep the golf ball as a souvenir, right? Well, not for Rory McIlroy who revealed he threw his lucky golf ball into the crowd after carding his first PGA Tour ace at the Travelers Championship on Thursday.

The moment of the day came on the par-3 8th where McIlroy launched a five-iron at the flag, it pitched a few feet short and rolled in – he admitted it was his best shot of the day so to be rewarded like that was a bonus.

“5-iron 215 yards slightly back into the wind off the right. And, yeah, as hole in ones go, I’ve had them in the past where it has been like an okay shot and you get a little lucky. That was the best shot of the day that I hit.


“Obviously a bonus for it to go in the hole, but it was really cool. I played pretty averagely up until that point. Felt like that hole in one got me going a little bit. Birdied the next couple holes after that and sort of got me into the tournament a bit.

“I threw it away. I’m not sentimental. I don’t care. I’d rather have trophies than golf balls.”

That was the highlight of a rollercoaster day for the Holywood man who mixed five birdies, a one and five bogeys in a two-under 68 to leave him eight shots off Denny McCarthy who flirted with a 59 but settled for a ten-under 60 at TPC River Highlands.

“Hole in ones and great shots, and I also made five bogeys, which was the sloppy bit of the day. I feel like I didn’t — I don’t even know if I made five bogeys during the whole U.S. Open last week. I just need to — I think I did, but I just need to tidy that up.

“Making five birdies and an eagle out there would be good enough to be in the Top 5. I just need to cut out the mistakes.”

Seamus Power is one-under after an opening 69.

Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

More News

Leave a comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.