Rory McIlroy ‘nearly decapitates’ a fan with a wayward tee shot at the British Open

Lesson for you, friends: Use caution when Rory McIlroy is on the tee. You're familiar with his into-the-houses shot that cost him the Masters last year. On Thursday, he sent a tee shot wide at Royal Lytham & St Annes that caromed off a spectator's head and ended up out of bounds.

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Wait, let's not bury the lede there: McIlroy hit a dude in the head with his tee shot, a dude standing some 300 yards down the fairway. Think about that for a second, and then you'll have a bit of sympathy for poor dazed Jason Blue:

McIlroy gave Blue an autographed glove, the customary currency in these situations. Once he determined that the fan was in halfway decent shape, he learned that the ball was no longer in play, and he'd have to tee off again.

These are the kinds of things that can absolutely destroy an entire tournament, but credit to McIlroy: while he double-bogeyed this hole, he'd go on to birdie two of the final three and finish at 3-under for the round. He sits three strokes behind leader Adam Scott. And if he's able to bounce back from that gut-punch of a shot, he should be in solid shape for the weekend.

Oh, and as for that "nearly decapitated" we used in the headline, via Deadspin? That overheated nonsense was via the Daily Mail. Turnabout is fair play, British tabloids. Just be glad we left the "nearly" in there.

-Devil Ball is all over the British Open this week. Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee to keep up.-

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