The day Trump returned McIlroy’s 3-iron from it’s watery ‘Blue Monster’ grave

Bernie McGuire

Rory McIlroy and Donald Trump at Doral (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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…. Miami, FL

Fans attending this week’s LIV Golf Miami will be on the lookout for a golf club proudly on display for all the wrong reasons on the walls within the opulent Trump Doral clubhouse.

The club is a 3-iron and it once belonged to Rory McIlroy.

However, that was before McIlroy parted with the club when playing the second round of the 2015 WGC – Cadillac Championship, being staged a month out from the Masters on the famed ‘Blue Monster’ course in suburban Miami.

McIlroy had opened with back-to-back birdies during Friday’s second round but his tee shot at the third found a watery grave before he then missed a five-foot par putt at the par-3 fourth, although a 24-foot birdie putt at the seventh appeared to right the ship.

But then at the par-5 eighth, McIlroy’s second shot sailed well left and splashed down into the water, where it was soon joined by McIlroy’s club, which spun like a helicopter until also vanishing into the depths of the ‘Blue Monster’.

He walked off with a double-bogey ‘6’ on route to a 70, surprisingly the lowest score of his four days at Doral.

“I just let frustration get the better of me,” he said after his round. “It was heat of the moment, and I mean, if it had of been any other club I probably wouldn’t have but I didn’t need a 3‑iron for the rest of the round so I thought, why not,” he added with a smile.

Of course, it was the story of the round but then little more was thought about the incident.

However, there was one person – Donald Trump – looking to make some political mileage out of it.

Looking back those nine years ago I vividly recall the number of impressive-looking black Cadillacs with the similar blackened windows all about the clubhouse, and many of those were being driven by Secret Service personnel given the tournament host was already being expected to earn the Republican nomination for the US Presidency.

It was not till May 2016 Trump earned the nomination but that week 14 months earlier turned into a week to remember.

Before the round was over Trump had arranged for a diver to retrieve McIlroy’s 3-iron.

Then ahead of McIlroy’s final round Trump made his way onto the practice range, and with TV cameras and photographers well in attendance, he formally returned the 3-iron to McIlroy.

Though in handing back the Nike club, McIlroy suggested Trump keep the club and with Trump indicating he would have it mounted on a back wall of the Golf Shop at Trump Doral.

At the time Trump said:  “We had thought of either auctioning the club or sticking it in a trophy case here at Doral but then after talking with Rory we will get it framed. It was as such a big thing. It was over television, it was the biggest story Rory throwing the club.

“And an even bigger story was the scuba diver coming up and holding it up, I don’t know where this guy came from but he was central casting. So, we will probably mount it and hang it at Doral.

“The club represents something. It was the biggest sports story for two days, first the throw and then the scuba diver. He has become world famous.”

And on the wall to the left of the Nike Vapor 3-iron is a letter, on ‘Rory McIlroy Inc.’ letterhead, that McIlroy later mailed to Trump, ending by saying:  “… and thank you for the salvage operation on my 3 iron.”

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