By Bill Fields
MEDINAH, Ill. - As the 11:25 CDT starting time approached Sunday at the Ryder Cup, there was one small problem for Europe.
Before teeing off, McIlroy had to assure a concerned captain Jose Maria Olazabal. Photo by Getty Images
Its biggest name, two-time major champion Rory McIlroy, wasn't at Medinah CC. "All of a sudden, we realized Rory wasn't here," said European captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
McIlroy, back at the hotel watching pre-match coverage on television, apparently was confused by the fact that the tee times were being listed in EDT. He thought he had about 90 minutes to spare. He actually only had about half an hour.
With the aid of a police escort, McIlory was driven to Medinah and arrived at 11:14 a.m. CDT, 11 minutes before he was to tee off.
A few putts, a few swings with a couple of clubs without hitting any practice balls, an energy bar and McIlroy was off to the first tee, where the pro-American gallery had some fun.
"Cen-tral Time Zone," they chanted.
McIlroy pushed his opening tee shot, but halved the first hole with a par.