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A weird lapse in security appeared to have occurred at the abrdn Scottish Open on Friday when what appears to be a random fan walked onto the 10th tee box, grabbed Rory McIlroy’s dog-shaped driver headcover and an iron. He then set up as if he planned to hit the headcover off the tee with the iron.
McIlroy, playing companion and World No. 1 Jon Rahm, caddie Harry Diamond and several officials stood there apparently flummoxed for several seconds. It was the opening hole of the second round for McIlroy and Rahm, the recent U.S. Open champion who is the early leader at 11 under in the abrdn Scottish Open. Also in the pairing but not on the video was Justin Thomas.
McIlroy and Rahm were casually chatting when the fan confidently strolled onto the tee box and grabbed the iron and headcover as if he was supposed to be there. It took a second for McIlroy and Rahm to even notice anything strange was happening, and when the realization struck that something very odd was occurring, they remained calm and appeared to be looking around for security.
Several people on Twitter posted videos of the event, including this one from @deep_fried_egg.
The man placed the headcover on the tee and set up as if he planned to give it a whack with the iron. An official then spoke calmly with the man, and after a few more seconds somebody called for security. The man was then escorted off the tee, handing back the iron but trying to keep the headcover before a plainclothes and burly security officer grabbed the man by the arm and led him off the tee.
It was all very calm and very odd. McIlroy went on to make par on the hole en route to a second-round 71. He trails Rahm, who shot 65, by 10 shots after two rounds.
Sky Sports reports that police addressed the situation thusly: “Officers were alerted to a man causing a disturbance within the grounds of the Renaissance Club in East Lothian, around 8am on Friday, July 9. The 35-year-old man has been taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and enquiries are ongoing.”