Rory McIlroy picked up his first ace on the PGA Tour, but opted against keeping the ball he used for the landmark achievement as a memento.
The Northern Irishman’s hole-in-one on the 214-yard eighth was the clear highlight of a mixed opening round for the US Open runner-up, who finished two-under-par on a day of low scores.
It was McIlroy’s first ace in competition since he made one in Abu Dhabi on the European tour in 2015.
One lucky fan is now, however, the owner of McIlroy’s ball after he tossed it into the crowd at the end of his round.
‘I’m not sentimental,’ said McIlroy after confirming he ‘threw away’ his ball.’I don’t care. I’d rather have trophies than golf balls.
‘As holes-in-one 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.
ACE FOR RORY!@McIlroyRory holes it from 214 yards @TravelersChamp ð¥ pic.twitter.com/bKUfts2RvU
‘Obviously a bonus for it to go in the hole, but it was really cool. I played pretty averagely up until that point.
‘I 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.’
Wyndham Clark, meanwhile, fresh off his U.S. Open win, shot 68.
The 29-year-old Denver native, who won his first PGA Tour event last month at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, said he got emotional after being introduced on the first tee as the U.S. Open champion.
‘It kind of caught me off guard a little bit,’ Clark said. ‘I actually got a little nervous. But then I hit a great shot and I hit it farther than I think I would have, just because of the nerves.’
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