August 11, 2011
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There are things you don't like watching, like Tiger Woods imploding over his last 13 holes in the first round of the PGA Championship, and then there are things you can't watch, like Rory McIlroy's decision on the 3rd hole in his opening round at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Just a couple of weeks after McIlroy got in a spat with BBC commentator Jay Townsend after Towsend remarked that Rory's course management was some of the worst he'd ever seen, McIlroy found himself in the trees left of the 3rd fairway, with his ball directly behind a raised root. Commentators were questioning his decision, but Rory went after it, hitting the root on his follow-through and flinging the club a few feet in front of him. McIlroy immediately grabbed his wrist, got an ice-pack, and though he continued to play, he kept grabbing the wrist.
Rory made bogey on the 3rd, hit his tee shot on the par-3 4th but immediately dropped his club in pain, and continued to grab and ice his wrist as he walked up to green on No. 3.
There are times you need to be a hero, like Sergio Garcia at Medinah in 1999, when in the final round, he had to try that shot against the tree to give himself a chance against Tiger Woods, and there are times, like in the first round of a major, when taking a penalty stroke or punching out won't kill you in the long-run.
I'm sure Rory's idea was to catch that shot a little thin, and just punch it down the fairway, but the risk was way higher than the potential result.
We will update you on his decision to keep playing or not, but as of now, McIlroy has called for medical attention to the wrist. For now, however, he continues to play through the pain, and is playing some pretty good golf at that.
Photo of Rory's taped wrist is after the jump ...
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