McIlroy's day ruined at short 14th at Memorial
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Rory McIlroy came to the 14th tee on Friday fresh off a birdie on 13 that gave him a two-shot lead at the Memorial Tournament.
But then things got interesting.
With an iron off the tee at the 363-yard, par-4 14th, McIlroy pulled his tee shot toward a creek that runs down the left side of the fairway.
"Stay there! Stay there!" McIlroy pleaded.
No luck. His tee shot bounced twice and trickled into the water.
Unfortunately for McIlroy, the creek snakes through the middle of the fairway and hugs the right side of the green. Trying to reach the difficult back-right pin position, McIlroy pushed his third shot and watched it bounce on the downslope toward the water. This time his ball hung up on the bank, inches from another penalty stroke.
With his ball on the hazard line, McIlroy hovered his wedge off the ground and pitched to nine feet. He missed for bogey and walked off the shortest par 4 at Muirfield Village with a double-bogey.
"Fourteen was playing tough today with that pin position, but to make double there was quite disappointing," McIlroy said.
It was a roller-coaster day for McIlroy, who still finished tied for the lead at 6-under after making six birdies, four bogeys and that costly double-bogey. (Later in the day, Stever Stricker overtook the leaders and finished at 9-under.) At times McIlroy's game was flawless, and he wowed the crowd with booming drives, towering irons shots and a deft putting stroke.
But McIlroy also missed two greens with short irons, which lead to bogeys.
"There's still a lot of golf left to play," McIlroy said. "I know that and everyone else knows that. I just need to, as I said, just limit those mistakes. If I can keep the silly bogeys off the card, I think I'll be all right."