‘He was clearly not sober!’: Jon Rahm reveals that fan who grabbed Rory McIlroy’s golf club and prepared to hit his headcover down the fairway before he was seized by security and taken to hospital ‘had a long night for sure’
- Footage on social media showed a man take one of Rory McIlory’s clubs
- McIlroy was waiting to play his tee shot on the 10th hole at the Renaissance Club
- The spectator was quickly dealt with by security staff after the incident
- Jon Rahm said he could smell the alcohol on the man who was ‘clearly not sober’
- Do YOU know the mystery golfer? Email: [email protected]
Do you know this man?
Golfer Rory McIlroy found himself confronted by a drunk spectator today who took one of the Irishman’s clubs and prepared to play a shot with it.
The bizarre incident at the Scottish Open ended when the 35 year old intruder was escorted away by security staff and taken to hospital..
McIlroy, 32, was waiting to get his round under way at 8am at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick alongside recently-crowned US Open champion Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas.
But while McIlroy and Rahm appeared to be in conversation, footage showed the man walk on to the tee and take the distinctive dog head cover off McIlroy’s driver out of the four-time major winner’s bag on the 10th tee.
Mail Online has learned that both McIlroy’s caddy and his playing partner Jon Rahm could smell alcohol on the eccentric thief as he brazenly took the Northern Irishman’s club.
McIlroy and Justin Thomas had been waiting to begin at 8am at the 10th hole at the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club in Berwick, when the fan – understood to have been visibly inebriated – grabbed a club from his bag and walked off with it before he started swinging.
McIlroy and Justin Thomas had been waiting to begin at 8am at the 10th hole at the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club in Berwick, when the fan – understood to have been visibly inebriated – grabbed a club from his bag
The spectator pulled the club from McIlroy’s bag much to the bafflement of those around him
The spectator placed the head cover on the floor and began swinging the club
The star had been chatting to caddy Harry Diamond when the incident took place.
The spectator handed the club back to Diamond as he was escorted off the tee by security, with the man also begrudgingly returning a head cover he had in his possession after a couple of attempts to keep hold of it.
‘Let me put it this way, you could smell the reason why he did what he did,’ Rahm said later. ‘He was clearly not sober. I’m going to say it was vodka. I’m no expert, but he had a long night for sure.’
Rahm added: ‘I don’t think any of us understood what was going on. He came in so confident and we thought he was going to take a picture or something.
‘We thought he was maybe part of the camera crew or a photographer.
‘After a little bit, when he walked back and they were taking him out you could smell the reason why it happened. Me and Rory didn’t say anything. He was holding a six iron and I didn’t want to get hurt.
‘It didn’t put anyone off. If anything it put a smile on our faces. It will be a pretty good story to tell in the future.’
The spectator handed the club back to Diamond as he was escorted off the tee by security
The man tried to keep hold of the head cover despite the caddy asking for it back
The man also begrudgingly returning a head cover he had in his possession after a couple of attempts to keep hold of it
The tournament is allowing 4,000 spectators on the course each day. The event is the first in Scotland to allow fans in attendance, as restrictions ease, but the incident has raised concerns over security at the event.
Security and police officers were alerted. The man has since been admitted to hospital.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: ‘Officers were alerted to a man causing a disturbance within the grounds of the Renaissance Club in East Lothian, around 8am on Friday 9 July.
‘The 35-year-old man has been taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and enquiries are ongoing.’
Local golf fan David Wilson added: ‘He was quickly dealt with. The players laughed it off, saying they knew he wasn’t a golfer when they saw his grip.’
‘It was a surprise, yes, but it was handled efficiently and everything’s OK,’ McIlroy said when asked about the incident after signing for a level-par 71. ‘I had no idea who he was. Again, it was handled quickly and that was the end of it.’
- Do you know this man? Please email: [email protected]